The Air Forceâ€™s premiere entertainment group, Tops in Blue, visited Tucson as part of their world-wide tour. The show features about 18 vocalists, one of which is a former member of the Desert Lightning Team.
Senior Airman Joleen Dedmonâ€™s Air Force career has been a many-faceted line of business. She began her journey as an active-duty vehicle operator in the 355th Logistics Readiness Squadron on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz.
â€œI was active-duty from 2003 through 2007,â€ Dedmon said. â€œWhen I separated, I was hired as a civilian to be the 355th Contracting Squadron commanderâ€™s secretary.â€
Airman Dedmon worked as a civilian member of the DLT until 2011, when she decided to join the Air Force Reserves. As a member of the Reserves, she is stationed at Luke AFB, Glendale, Ariz.
The Tops in Blue had been in the back of Airman Dedmonâ€™s mind her whole career.
â€œI first saw Tops in Blue in basic training, and then again on my second deployment,â€ Dedmon said. â€œI actually auditioned for them in 2005, but didnâ€™t make the cut. When I came into the reserves last year, I decided to give it another shot and see what happened.â€
Her decision paid off and she earned a vocalist spot on the 2012 TIB team. Returning to D-M on the first leg of the world-wide tour is a reminder to Airman Dedmon of where it all started.
â€œOne of the things I learned working on Davis-Monthan is when to sit back and take direction, and when to step up and be a good leader,â€ Dedmon said.
Some old co-workers from 355th CONS came out to support her performance.
â€œJoleen has only been gone a couple of months, but I miss hearing her singing at her desk,â€ said Joanne Squire, 355th CONS director of business operations and former colleague of Airman Dedmon. â€œI have always loved her talent, but I was amazed at the growth of her stage presence. It was especially moving when she took out the show with â€œGod Bless the USAâ€, one of my favorite songs.â€
Members of the TIB team act as their own road crew, so their time while in Arizona was spent setting up the set, performing and tearing down the set before heading to the next stop on the tour.
â€œI wish I had more time to visit with my co-workers and friends,â€ Dedmon said. â€œPlus, I really miss the great restaurants. Iâ€™d like to eat at them all tonight. But Iâ€™m excited to get this opportunity to travel the world for a year doing what I love. Then itâ€™s back to my normal routine and my favorite places to eat dinner.â€