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Military invades CBS Studios

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Linda E. Welz
  • Fourth Air Force public affairs
Uniformed servicemen and women from the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard formed up at CBS Studios in Los Angeles, Calif. Tuesday, Aug. 11, to make up the all-military audience for a taping of The Price is Right. The popular game show hosted by Drew Carey, is scheduled to broadcast for Veteran's Day, Nov. 11, 2009.

Twenty-one Team March Airmen from the 452nd Air Mobility Wing, 163rd Air Refueling Wing and 4th Air Force joined Airmen from Los Angeles and Edwards Air Force Bases to become Team Air Force, which yielded the big prize winner for the show, 2nd Lieutenant Brandi Hicks, Chief, Personnel Readiness, LA AFB.

"Even if I never made it on stage, the experience was great! For me that was the icing on the cake," she said.

Upon arrival at the studios, guests were served a Mexican-style buffet lunch by studio personnel. After lunch, everyone lined up according to numbers they were given, filled out necessary paperwork and met the producer for a short screening. 2nd Lt. Hicks said the producer asked her how she was.

"Outstandingly wonderful - a normal response from me, just ask," she said. "He asked me where I worked, we joked, and then he said 'Everyone else should leave because it's all about her!' I said (with a big grin) sir, now you understand. It was a fun conversation. I just never really thought it would get me picked!"

The wait to enter the studio was longer than anticipated because the Marine band and drill team were inside practicing with the crew for the taping. But, this allowed for service members to interact with one another.

"Very rarely do I get the chance to chat with our sister services," said Capt. Harvey S. Gaber, Spacecraft Flight Commander, LA AFB. "I took the opportunity to meet as many different people as I could. I enjoyed the sea stories from the Coast Guard and the description of the Army uniforms."

Guests were finally ushered into the studio and seated according to their service branch. After a few minutes for warm up by the announcer, Mr. Carey came out and the show began. Four names were called to "Come on down" to be the first four contestants.

"I was ecstatic to be called, but trying to guess prices is harder than it seems!" said 2nd Lt. Hicks. "Especially when you are guessing for things you have no idea about! And the wheel is as hard to spin as it seems. But, I went there to have fun. If you can't have fun, what's the point?"

Technical Sgt. Freemont Dea, NCOIC, Immunization Clinic, 452nd Aerospace Medicine Squadron, had fun, especially after he heard his name, jumped from his seat at the rear of the studio and made his way down to contestant's row.

"I was shocked and surprised since the odds are against me being picked," he said. "My eyes did a double take when I saw my name on the cue card. I was very excited and not acting when I got to contestant's row and pounded on the podium until I had bruises on my hands. It was fun and exciting to be on TV."

Although he didn't make it on stage, TSgt. Dea said his experience taught him that he doesn't shop enough to understand how much things cost these days.

"My first bid was over. Hence, to my demise, I made the mistake of bidding too conservatively on the next three prizes. I should have gone with higher bids at the risk of going over," he said. "I just wanted to win something. Anything would have been fine. It didn't even have to be the grand prize. I just wanted to say that I won something on the show."

In the end Team Air Force had a lot to cheer about as one of its own won the final showcase. As 2nd Lt. Hicks climbed behind the wheel of her new car, all of Team Air Force flooded onto the stage to help celebrate her win and wave goodbye to the cameras.
Living vicariously through her friend, the big winner, and getting some screen time next to Drew Carey was the highlight of the experience said former broadcaster 2nd Lieutenant Mara Title, Chief, Customer Service, LA AFB.

"It was completely and totally surreal. Also, Drew Carey said he only works three days a week and comes in past ten, so I have something to aspire to," she said.

The day ended with group pictures being taken on stage after the taping.