Tops in Blue Serving Operation Enduring Freedom. (Armed Forces Recreation Society)

Article excerpt

Putting on a series of performances in your community is not an easy task. But what if your plan was to put on a series of showsover a 10-day period, 3,000 miles from your headquarters, using a variety of facilities (tents, recreation facilities, plywood stages), all in the war zone of Afghanistan and Pakistan? The challenges may be enormous, but the goal is simple, says Tom Edwards, director of Air Force Entertainment: "To reach as many people as possible and thank them for their commitment to serving our country."

Tops In Blue consists of 26 active-duty Air Force personnel. Because it's made up of military members, their performances can reach places most entertainers can't go. The team is committed to going wherever American forces are in need of a little touch of home, patriotism and great entertainment. "Each of the sites gave us phenomenal support," says Edwards, "which let us know how important it was for Tops In Blue to be there."

Before leaving for the region, Tops In Blue downsized its equipment to an expeditionary format. …