Whiteman Airman selected for Tops in Blue

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- Airman 1st Class Jonathan Velasquez, 509th Bomb Wing Security Forces Squadron, was recently selected for a year-long tour with the Air Force expeditionary entertainment unit, Tops in Blue.

According to their Web site, Tops in Blue provides quality entertainment from within the Air Force for the AF family, with priority to AF personnel stationed worldwide at remote and deployed locations while simultaneously promoting community relations, supporting recruiting efforts and serving as ambassadors for the United States of America and the USAF.

After submitting a video audition, showcasing his skill using drumsticks, Airman Velasquez was invited to audition in person, at Lackland AFB, Texas.

"I went to Lackland to audition for drums, but, when I got there, they auditioned everybody on vocals, comedy, and whatever else they could do," Airman Velasquez said. "I did my drum audition, and they asked if I did anything else. I told them I played the keyboard. They liked what I did, and I got picked up for that."

Airman Velasquez said he was impressed by the amount of encouragement the personnel at Lackland gave him.

"The process here was really supportive too," he said. "I'm a cop, and there were always people telling me that I wouldn't make it, but my flight chiefs and my commander were really supportive, and really encouraged me to do well. This could be a stepping stone to try out for the Air Force Band."

The optimistic Airman Velasquez left, March 9, 2010, for Lackland where he will begin several months of "staging," or rehearsing of their show before the team starts their tour.

"I encourage people to try out, if they have musical talent," he said. "It's going to be hard work, but it's going to be such a great experience, going around to all the bases, and traveling."