Biloxi Teen Gets Tops In Blue Honors

This piece, entitled "The Entertainer", seems fitting for 15-year-old Bennett Lumban, because it is his entertaining skills that won him a spot in this year's Tops In Blue program.

"I got entered in the talent show by my mom. I didn't want to do it at first, but then I found out I won," said Lumban.

The Biloxi Junior High student won first place in his age group out of 300 entries from 58 air force bases around the nation. Not bad from a young man who basically taught himself how to tickle the ivories.

"When I was 7 or 8, I took it about one or two years and then I stopped. I tried taking lessons again for about a year. After that, I just started teaching myself," said Lumban.

The Tops In Blue program usually features talented active duty Air Force members from around the nation. They sing, dance, or play instruments. Bennett fit right in because he can do all of that and more.

"I play the trumpet, and I practice martial arts for fun. And that's it," said Lumban.

He dances as well.

"We have this Asian Pacific. And what we do, we dance this folk national dance called Tinikling , and me and my friends do that. And we perform around the base and other places too," said Lumban.

So Bennett Lumban can basically do it all, and it shows. But when it comes to his career choice for the future, his decision does not come as easily as his many talents.

"I don't know. I just hope it pays a lot of money," said Lumban.

Bennett is a straight A student at Biloxi Junior High, and he is the son of Master Sergeant Bienvenido Lumban and Nanette Lumban, both stationed at Keesler Air Force Base.