• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 6s

Tops in Blue performer comes home to JBER

By Bonney Bowman 6:09 PM August 11, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

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.

Latest Stories

  • News

    After blaze in Bethel, alcohol addiction counselors soldier on

    by Kate McPherson on Oct 29, 23:10

    Reaching out for help to overcome alcohol addiction can be hard. Experts in Bethel say finding someone who can help can be even harder, especially in rural Alaska. People travel to Bethel from all over Alaska for treatment at the Phillips Ayagnirvik (or Alcoholism) Treatment Center, whose renovated building went down in flames on Monday […]

  • Lifestyle

    Families in Alaska concerned over proposed Medicaid reforms

    by Bonney Bowman on Oct 29, 21:05

    One year ago, Gov. Sean Parnell announced Alaska would not accept billions in federal dollars to expand the state’s Medicaid system. Instead, he set up a committee to reform it and make it sustainable and easy to use for providers and recipients. In a meeting with the committee today, dozens of Medicaid recipients and service […]

  • Weather

    Evening News weather, Oct. 29

    by KTVA Weather on Oct 29, 20:41

    Kenai Peninsula and Prince William Sound Skies will be partly to mostly cloudy. Southeast Rain will be found to the north with mostly cloudy skies to the south. Interior/North Slope In the Interior, skies will be partly cloudy. On the North Slope, skies will be mostly cloudy with some light snow at times. Mat-Su Valley […]

  • News

    Mountain View revitalization continues with another new restaurant

    by Heather Hintze on Oct 29, 19:10

    The smell of fresh sauerkraut and schnitzel wafts in the air at West Berlin. The new restaurant, located at the corner of Mountain View Drive and North Park Street, just opened for business on Monday. Owner Bill Hoopai is no stranger to the restaurant world; he’s operated the three Hula Hands locations since 2000 but is […]

  • Sports

    UAA Volleyball No. 2 in division rankings

    by KTVA Sports on Oct 29, 18:29

    After splitting its matches last week, the UAA volleyball squad entered the season’s initial Division II West rankings in second place. The Seawolves came into the week with a 17-4 overall record (11-2 GNAC). Northwest Nazarene, who, so far, beat UAA twice this season, sits at the top of the standings. Along with the Seawolves […]

  • Lifestyle

    Self-expression through art helps student veterans at UAA

    by Hope Miller on Oct 29, 18:24

    Two counselors at the University of Alaska Anchorage are using an unconventional method to help student veterans who may be having a tough time. It’s called “Operation: Self Expression” and the mission is to use art to get student veterans to open up about their emotions. “It’s theraputic, but we’re not trying to push it […]

  • News

    AFD seeks help solving suspicious Anchorage fires

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 29, 17:23

    Investigators are seeking the public’s help solving two recent structure fires in the area of 80th Avenue and Old Seward Highway. The fires occurred within days of each other, both in unoccupied structures, according to a release from AFD. The first took place in a new building that was under contruction on the 600 block […]

  • Politics

    Campaign 2014: Don Young

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Oct 29, 17:01

      This week, KTVA is running a series of interviews with the main candidates for office. Today, the focus is on U.S. Rep. Don Young. This interview was conducted just hours before the congressman went to Wasilla High School, where he was criticized for making inappropriate remarks about suicide. KTVA’s Rhonda McBride asks Young about his […]