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Tops in Blue performer comes home to JBER

By Bonney Bowman 6:09 PM August 11, 2014

Tops in Blue is an Air Force variety show. The performers are all active-duty airmen and they get to travel all over the world.

For one of them, taking the stage at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson is just like coming home.

Airman 1st Class Alexander Ross went from singing anthems on base to touring the world.

“I kind of grew up with my family as performers, so learning how to be a performer is a great experience and being able to serve my country at the same time, it’s just been an amazing experience,” Ross said.

The stage is a big change for the fuels specialist, who said being a part of the performance team is no easy assignment.

“It was almost like a second basic training. They had us working 18, 19 hours a day,” Ross said. “We had to learn how to set up an entire stage. We had to learn all of our choreography and songs and it was hard.”

Tops in Blue performers use their talent to raise morale all over the globe.

“You can’t help but be excited about it, about the places that we get to go and the people we get to meet and just the impact that we can have on our airmen and the community and their families all over the world,” said 1st Lt. Amanda Bills. “Every time at that patriotic set at the end and you see everyone standing up all over the world, it doesn’t matter where we are. It creates such a sense of unity.”

The team doesn’t just perform on stage. Getting out in the community is what makes the mission meaningful for him, Ross said.

“Every area that we visit we try to do a ‘give back,’ so whether that’s going to a local veteran’s hospital, or going to a retirement home or an elementary school and singing for the people there — that probably brings me the most joy,” Ross said.

As a member of the 673rd Logistical Readiness Squadron, Ross says landing on the flight line at JBER was like coming back to work.

“I felt like I had to throw on my uniform and go over to the fuel truck and just start pumping,” he said.

He says members of his unit are coming to the show, supporting him and welcoming him home.

Ross’s tour with Tops in Blue wraps up in January. He’ll then come back to JBER to resume his duties with the 673rd, fueling planes on the flight line.

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