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Grief melts fear, leads Air Force Reservist to worldwide talent audition

  • Published
  • By By Capt. Cathleen Snow
  • 920th Rescue Wing Public Affairs
A package in the mail containing a T-shirt renewed hope for one talented Air Force Reservist in the 920th Rescue Wing.

Tech. Sgt. Altrameise Myers, information management craftsman, was a little confused when she received a package in the mail with a lone T-shirt emblazoned with the words--Mission Audition. It came from the Air Force's highly coveted entertainment troupe, Tops in Blue, of which she had recently sent an audition video.

Similar to the realty television show American Idol, Tops in Blue's sets out to find the most talented vocalists, musicians and dancers in the U.S. Air Force whose primary purpose is to entertain military personnel and their families throughout the world, even those deployed to combat.

"At first I thought the T-shirt was a constellation prize, like thanks for auditioning, but no thanks," said Myers.

A telephone call later and she learned that the special T came as an invite to Tops in Blue's worldwide talent search for an in-person, seven-day audition in San Antonio, Texas.

"It's exciting," said Myers. "I'm going to put my very best foot forward."

Until now, stepping on stage to sing the national anthem had been her only public performance experience.

"I'd be shaking in my boots everytime," said Myers who was plagued with terrible stage fright when faced with an audience.

But recently, a terrible loss, the passing of her 17-year-old son AJ, September 30, has melted her fear.

"My son would always tell me, 'you need to do something with that talent, mom'," she said as she would sing around the house.

"I think about him and it takes all of my fear away," said Myers, who finally went into the studio by his constant prompting, and interpreted a song, recorded it, then sent it off to Tops in Blue.

"It's (performing) something I've been afraid of, but lately I have not been afraid," said Myers.

"We loved your singing! Thank you for participating," she said the voice on the other end of the telephone told her when she called about the T-shirt.

Her commander, Col. George Raeder, 920th Mission Support Group, concurred. "I get goosebumps everytime I hear her sing," he said of her soulful rendition of the national anthem.

Myers said the gesture of sending a T-shirt invite is one of many Tops in Blues' longstanding traditions. It's history dates back 59 years and it's one of the oldest and most widely traveled entertainment groups of its kind.

The group has appeared on national television with such legends as Ed Sullivan, Bob Hope, Alabama, Barbara Mandrell, BOYZ II MEN, Lee Greenwood, and many others.

If Myers is selected, she will be one of a few reservists who make the team which is composed of 35 to 40 of the most talented vocalists, musicians, dancers, and technicians in the Air Force.

Upon selection, the training will consist of a highly accelerated educational process to prepare the candidates to succeed as world-class entertainers and distinguished Air Force Ambassadors during the 10-month worldwide tour.

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