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Tops In Blue put on a show!
Airman 1st Class Kristen Wash sings a solo during the Tops in Blue "Rhythm Nation" world-tour Dec. 23, 2011, at the Transit Center at Manas, Kyrgyzstan. Wash is a medical material journeyman from Joint Base Andrews, Md. Tops in Blue covered more than 20 countries in a 10-month period performing songs from the 1950's to today. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. Angela Ruiz)
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Tops in Blue entertains troops

Posted 12/28/2011   Updated 12/28/2011 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Lynsie Nichols
376th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs

12/28/2011 - TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, Kyrgyzstan  -- Tops in Blue performed "Rhythm Nation" for deployed service members here Dec. 23.

This is the second time the group has visited the Transit Center in 2011.

"A lot of service members are away from their families during the holiday season," said Edward Jones, Tops in Blue director. "We perform these shows to take their minds off that for a little while."

Traveling is the norm for Airmen who perform with Tops in Blue. Composed of 35 to 40 vocalists, musicians, dancers and technicians across the Air Force, the group spends hours traveling to multiple locations in the United States and more than 20 countries. They perform close to 140 shows during a 10-month period.

"People have the misconception that all they do is sing and dance for their career," Jones said. "These Airmen actually have other jobs that they are released from for the tour."

The performance included music from the 1950s and ended with a special performance of "I'll Be Home for Christmas."

A donation of new instruments valued at approximately $5,000 was also made to the 376th Expeditionary Force Support Squadron for the recreation program here.

"This is the first time the Transit Center has received a gift like this from Tops in Blue," said Lt. Col. Richard Roberts, 376th EFSS commander. "We hope to obtain volunteers that will be willing to teach others to play."

Tops in Blue brings together people of all nationalities, races and cultures through music, contributing directly to the mission of the Transit Center of building partnerships and enhancing relationships in an informal setting, Roberts said.

"We use non-appropriated funds and sponsorship dollars to execute our mission," Jones said. "Tops in Blue builds morale, and some of the people who need it most are deployed Airmen."

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