Stars benefit from greater flexibility with military service

Heading off to the military has always been one of the greatest challenges faced by Taiwanese male stars. It's easy to understand why, since going away at their prime could mean their careers will never be the same. Some stars (or more likely, their management companies) might even try to stay in the spotlight a little longer with illnesses, school transfers and graduation extensions. But this might soon be a thing of the past as military service has been shortened to a year, along with greater flexibility in its regulations. More stars are now experiencing the military life with as much excitement as the TV soldiers on Rookies’ Diary.

Singer Evan Yo is currently serving in the artistic division after he enlisted earlier this year. He recently played a soldier suffering from being bullied in a mini drama (see part 1, 2 & 3). Fans were thrilled to see him in a military uniform and looking great with his short hair. Although his contract with Sony has ended, Evan Yo is in negotiations and hopes to return to the music scene after completing his service.

It was only a few months ago when Sodagreen’s Ah Gong was hospitalized for headaches and sleep apnea. He eventually recovered from a successful operation and enlisted in the military shortly after. The Sodagreen member became an anti-drug ambassador for the Nantou county, and even formed a band with fellow soldiers to perform across Taiwan. He is said to be falling ill less often because of the disciplined military life style.

Back in April, Ah Gong was lent from the military to perform at the Liverpool Music Festival with Sodagreen. More recently, he was given time off to attend the Golden Melody Awards in which Sodagreen was nominated in multiple categories. Ah Gong has been staying in touch with his band mates and plans to rejoin them next year.

Best newcomer nominee A Chord Hsieh also got a day off from military service to attend the GMA’s. He enlisted back in April and is currently serving at an air force base nearby the Sonshan Airport. The strenuous training has made him physically stronger, but his love of music hasn’t change. Luckily, A Chord Hsieh was permitted to bring his guitar along so he could do some song-writing in his spare time. The singer said military life is not as dangerous as one might have thought. However, he does often have to remind others that his name is pronounced Hsieh He “Xian”, not “Xuan”.

Source: UDN, brendaleehom's Channel

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