Tops in Blue picks 2 from Robins for 2009 tour

  • Published
  • By Wayne Crenshaw
  • 78 ABW/PA
Members of the 78th Communications Group got an encore performance of Tops in Blue on Monday, and one Airman got a big surprise.

A day after the group announced at its show here that Robins Airman 1st Class Jennifer Frost had been tapped as a performer for the coming year, Airman 1st Class Scott Robinson, a radio maintainer in the 78th Communications Squadron, learned he had also been selected.

The 27-member crew of active-duty Airmen travels the globe performing a variety show of dance, music and comedy. They stopped by the 78th CG the morning after a performance at the Warner Robins Civic Center before a near-capacity crowd.

Their encore performance was their way of thanking the 78th CG for loaning one of its own, Senior Airman Thomas Henderson. In March Airman Henderson will finish his one-year tour as stage director for Tops in Blue.

Tour director Edward Jones said the units that provide the crew members for Tops in Blue have to cover for those positions.

"We wanted to make sure we see the people who the impact is made upon," he said. "I've been with Tops in Blue on and off for 19 years, and I can say he is one of the best Airmen we have had on the road."

After the crew sang tunes from its show, including "It's All Right" and "Proud Mary," Mr. Jones presented a plaque to Tena Dominy, deputy director of the 78th CG, thanking the squadron for Airman Henderson's service.

Col. Debra Bean, vice commander of the 78th Air Base Wing, then made an announcement that drew a roar of applause and rendered Airman Robinson speechless.

She noted that with Airman Henderson's tour ending in March, Tops in Blue will be in need of another stage director. That's when she revealed that for the second year in a row, a 78th CS Airman will fill that position. She then revealed that Airman Robinson will be taking over that job. He was so stunned he could barely talk.

"Wow," was the only word Airman Robinson could utter as he stepped forward to accept Colonel Bean's congratulations.

He wasn't the only Robins Airman to get a big surprise from Tops in Blue. On Sunday night at the group's performance, Maj. Gen. Polly Peyer, commander of Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, and Mr. Jones announced that Airman Frost had been selected for the show. She had tears in her eyes as she came to the stage.

She said later she had no idea she had been selected until she heard her name called at the show.

"My heart dropped and my whole body started shaking," she said of her reaction in hearing the announcement. "It was just crazy. I've wanted this ever since I joined the Air Force."

Both had traveled to San Antonio, Texas to audition. Airman Frost will serve as a vocalist in the show. They had been told if they were selected, they would be informed by Tuesday, and with the day drawing near and both having not heard a word, they were losing hope. Airman Frost had auditioned last year but wasn't selected.

Airman Frost, an apprentice at the Fitness Center, said she wanted to join the group because of her love of singing and the opportunity to travel and act as an ambassador for the Air Force.

"I'm so excited beyond belief," she said. "I've never been outside the United States. I'm really looking forward to going into the deployment locations and performing for our troops."

The group performs a high energy show that includes a wide variety of music and some comedy. Colonel Bean was among those in Sunday's audience.

"It was the best show I've seen in ages," she told the 78th CG members. "It was incredible."

In March, Airman Frost and Airman Robinson will head for Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio where they will undergo an intense 45-day training period before hitting the road.