Comedian Don Barnhart and actors Christian Slater and Kal Penn visit troops to lift morale
Award winning comedian Don Barnhart and Hollywood Celebrities Christian Slater and Kal Penn head overseas to help lift troop morale.
War and combat is one of the most stressful things a soldier will face and although they train for it, it's not always easy. Right now, we are seeing a huge increase in suicides for the soldiers and I believe that comedy can help to relieve some of the pressure and stress these soldiers are facing.
It has been said that, That laughter is the best medicine. It also turns out that comedy can be a preventative medicine as well. There is a huge increase in the number of suicides by soldiers and providing comedy shows for the troops is just one of the many ways our government is trying to deal with this tragic issue.
For years, comedians have been entertaining the troops. Bob Hope really started it and brought the importance of bringing a piece of home to the men and women serving in the military, says comedian Don Barnhart. Besides headlining at the top comedy clubs across the country Barnhart, an award-winning comedian with numerous television and film credits has been doing tours for Comics On Duty and USO since 1992. He added, We try and get out to where they need it the most by going to the forward bases where they really don't have any entertainment and the stress is at it's highest. We go everywhere we can and might end up in a huge theatre on a domestic tour or telling jokes in a hanger with helicopters taking off around us when we're overseas.
Bryan "Bear" Patridge LTC, MP Commander agrees to the importance of humor, When I was in Iraq on my third tour, we had the Comics on Duty come to our FOB (Forward Operating Base). It was that one show that everyone knew they could come to and let loose and they were going to be entertained. Humor is a stress reliever. Combat zone or not, life for Soldiers is just plain tough at times. When you can throw the proverbial turd in the punch bowl to lighten the already tense mood - things just seem to transform. We have to be able to add some levity and not take ourselves so seriously all the time. Humor is and can be a common bond between the everyday Soldier and his leaders - regardless of rank.
Statistics aren't in but when soldiers create a human connection with others the probability of suicide lowers. Barnhart adds, After the shows, we get to spend time with the troops and just hang out and talk with them. Many of these soldiers are away from their families for the first time and are either headed to or are already in a combat zone and it can seem unbearable at times. It's not like going away to college with frat parties and being able to go home and have your mom do your laundry on the weekends. These people are at war and it's really hard on them." Brian S. Hornback, CMSgt, USAF added, I can echo some of those comments. I remember when Robin Williams came over in 2004, it was Christmas time and you can imagine the feelings being felt by my Airmen during that time. Williams stood for pictures for over 2 hours. Everyone's thoughts of home and what they were doing seemed ever the more important as someone took their holiday time to not only spend it with us but to bring some joy and laughter. Your simple act of gratitude, support and dedication to the men and women in the United States Military not only defines what makes our country so great but remind us of what we're fighting for.
Simple acts go a long way in reminding everyone who wears a uniform of what's important. It is even clearer when celebrities take a moment to show their gratitude as you have so graciously done. Your contributions go a long way in showing us that you remember, as we do, that what we are fighting for is important. The value of your simple act cannot be overstated. The positive effects it brings on the men and women in United States Military are displayed daily by their continued commitment to serve even through trying times. The only thing we can do now is to ensure you that we will take care of this great nation and its