published Sunday, February 24th, 2013

From front line to red carpet

The Dolby Theatre is seen as preparations are made for the 85th Academy Awards in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013. The Academy Awards will be held at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
The Dolby Theatre is seen as preparations are made for the 85th Academy Awards in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013. The Academy Awards will be held at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

A few months ago Army Sgt. 1st Class Walter Talens was shooting footage from Afghanistan, but on Sunday he had a prime seat to star watch at The Academy Awards.

Talens was one of dozens of service members from various military branches sprinkled around the show's fan bleachers, where Talens says he hopes to get a glimpse of actress Jennifer Lawrence from his second-row seat. It's a new vantage point for him — he's worked two Oscar shows filming shout outs to troops overseas, but had never sat in the fan bleachers, and neither has his boss, Maj. John Reynolds.

Reynolds , who relocated from a posting in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., a few months before last year's show, says he's hoping for a glimpse of Denzel Washington, Ben Affleck and Lawrence.

"I never thought I would be this close to the red carpet," says Reynolds, who has a front row seat near where the stars enter the Dolby Theatre.

When he moved to LA, he'd been told to expect occasional star sightings at restaurants or on the street, but Sunday's Oscars will feature a parade of top talent.

Talens, who noted the Oscars' long support of the troops, says, "I'm very happy the (motion picture) academy supports the military and allows us to see the glitz and glamour."

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