FAQ  •  Search  •  Memberlist  •  Usergroups   Register 
TIB Community Portal
Click here for bulletin board instructions. 
 Profile  • Log in to check your private messages  • Log in 

 TIB Community Portal Forum Index » TIB Priors Updates » Need input from priors and families about new TIB program
  The time now is Wed Apr 08, 2020 3:57 am 

 Post new topic   Reply to topic View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Post Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 6:27 pm    Post subject: Need input from priors and families about new TIB program Reply with quote


Joined: 26 Mar 2009
Posts: 6
Location: Colorado Springs, CO

For those of you who don't know me, I'm Buddy's wife.  He played trombone in '07, and when he toured I got to spend a lot of time on the road (TIB groupie!) spending time with the team and getting to meet lots of families out there.  Whenever I met families and we'd all stand around and share stories, it seemed everyone had the same types of concerns or questions or complaints.... almost always boiling down to lack of information and feeling left out or left behind and kept in the dark.  Because I got to spend so much time with the team, and because I too have a musical/theatrical production background, I understood a lot of the TIB process that most families don't really get a chance to figure out.  I got to go and work on staff at Worldwide this year, and with my love for the TIB program growing all the time, it had been occurring to me that, since I am a stay-at-home wife with some extra TIB experience and understanding, perhaps I could put that to good use.  

I approached Mr. Edwards at Worldwide and asked if I could serve as a Family Liaison to bridge that gap between the team/staff and the families back home, to provide the families with the knowledge I came away with as a family member so they can have that UP FRONT and be part of the TIB process with their children or their spouses or siblings or whomever.  The tour doesn't have to be unpleasant and unhappy for the family back home; it can be a great shared experience.  It was for me, and I want to help other families have that, too.  The families just need to feel informed and be provided with good moral support along the way.  We've always had plenty of people giving us phone numbers and email addresses and saying "Please contact me if you have any questions".  We always know that those offers are sincere, but you know how scared you guys are when you first start off on tour.  The families are even more intimidated than that, and we're often too nervous to take you all up on those offers!  So rather than offering to be there for them, I'm simply making that call up front, and then following up on it throughout the year.  

I just got back from staging, where I met with each of the team members and talked to them about their family situations. I got a family contact person (or two) from each team member, and over the next week will be contacting those family members to introduce myself and let them know they have someone who has been through what they are going through to answer their questions and be there when they need something.  I'll answer questions they have (or make note of them, find out, and get back to them if I don't know), and then I am going to send out an information packet, filled with all kinds of things that affect the families back home, from how to get to spend time with their team member out on the road to that 72-hour deadline for letting the First Sergeant know if you need to get civilians on base for a show.

My question to you is this:  What things do your family wish they had known up front when you left for your tour?  

I am open to any suggestions as to what to include in the information packet.  As family members, we put you on that plane to go to staging and we know NOTHING about what this year holds for us and when and how we're going to see you again and what we're allowed to do as part of this process.  And as the year goes by, and we go to see a show while you're on the road, or we're just trying to hold down the fort without you, questions pop up all along the way.  I know all the issues that my family had to deal with, I know some issues for the families that I met in '07, and some that my husband had to deal on behalf of the families as First Sergeant.  But I'm very interested in hearing what you and your family learned that could benefit our new Tops in Blue families and keep them from starting out scared and feeling alone and uninformed.

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. -- William Shakespeare

TOP View user's profileSend private message   BOTTOM
Post Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Golden Roger
Golden Roger

Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 18
Location: Helena, MT

If you call someone on tour, do not expect them to answer. They’re busy with <whatever>. Do expect them to call back at an hour that is probably inconvenient to you. This is not intentional, it may be the only time they can break free to call.  And when you ask them where they are, don’t be surprised when they say “I have no idea” because after a while all base billeting & TLF’s look the same!
Bob Morrow, TIB 88 ss
There is no such thing as 'too much snow'.

TOP View user's profileSend private messageSend e-mail Yahoo Messenger  BOTTOM
Post Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kahlil Ashanti

Joined: 20 Mar 2007
Posts: 79

Hi ma'am,

I applaud your initiative and concern with getting the families connected with their loved ones on the road.  I toured in 94,95 (pre internet - darn I'm old) as well as on staff in 96, 00, 01 and being one of the youngest people on tour as well as single it was hard to watch people miss their kids/families while dealing with the rigors of the relentless TIB schedule.  It's hard to improve the morale of the troops when your morale is suffering so you're definitely on to something here.

That being said may I respectfully caution you on the danger of too much information.  Working and making a living in the entertainment industry on a day to day basis since my last tour I now understand the reason for Mr Edwards' apprehension to release too much information too early.  I don't know of any other business where things change so quickly and by the time you tell people one thing elements beyond your control have completely altered the situation.  I'm not talking about the personal stuff that happens 'off camera' with the cast but the info about 'where they will be and for how long, will they still have a day off at this base or that base etc.' Sometimes the more info you give people the more they think they deserve and a desire to provide small consistent updates turns into a confrontation with loved ones who act like their relative is the only person on tour and think you have nothing better to do than chase TIB all over the world and find out what they do every minute of every day.  Hopefully you can roll this out in a way that lets everyone know up front that you have a family and a life away from TIB and that understanding, patience and compromise are the key to any deployment situation.

I have not met you but your passion and concern for TIB tell me that you have a good heart and will stay on top of things and we need all the passion we can get.  It's what keeps us going.  

Not trying to be negative, just wanting to put all the cards on the table.

I look forward to seeing the fruits of your labor.

Respectfully yours,


TOP View user's profileSend private messageVisit poster's website   BOTTOM
Post Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Joined: 26 Mar 2009
Posts: 6
Location: Colorado Springs, CO

Oh, that's a good point, Bob, about the "I don't know"!  That used to frustrate me so much, wanting to hear all the juicy details and then him not even knowing where he was!  Buddy compares it to the movie "Groundhog Day"... just living the same day over and over again.

No worries there, Kahlil!  Actually the reason Mr. Edwards is letting me do this is so I can put the kind of information out there that the staff wants the families to have.  The primary thing I'm impressing on the families is our need to be FLEXIBLE, to understand that the mission comes first, and that even though we as family members suffer many disappointments throughout the year, we are helping our team member carry out that mission by shouldering the disappointments of a missed day off or the many missed phone calls, birthdays and anniversaries and just loving you all through this.  I think that families being too rigid and expecting things that their team members and the team itself can't give back is one of the hardest things y'all have to deal with, and it's one of the main things I want to address with them.  And I think they can easily understand that if they realize that's what's needed of them.  In addition to talking about the personal and emotional aspects, and logistical details such as deadlines for getting information to the team regarding getting civilians on base for shows, I'm also including in the letter the TIB mission statement, the Commitment to Excellence and the Air Force Core Values.  That way the families can really get a grasp on what Tops in Blue is all about and how we as families need to embrace these ideals and make this year about supporting our team member and helping him or her carry them out by providing them with the fullest support we can to keep their hearts and minds clear and focused on the job.  Stressing them by trying to make things all about US won't get that done!

And also, I'm not sending out the letter until it gets final approval from Mr. Edwards, just in case I put something in there that I didn't realize he wouldn't have wanted me to!
There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. -- William Shakespeare

TOP View user's profileSend private message   BOTTOM
 Post new topic   Reply to topic All times are GMT - 5 Hours

Display posts from previous:   
 TIB Community Portal Forum Index » TIB Priors Updates » Need input from priors and families about new TIB program
 Page 1 of 1
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
Jump to:  

     Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group :: Spelling by SpellingCow. | Template Neon v1.2 | Crystal