Comedians perform for Fort Drum audience
April 23, 2010
FORT DRUM, N.Y. - Comics on Duty, an 18-year old program that brings stand-up comedians to service members around the world, presented an evening of entertainment April 13 at the Commons.
Comedians Steve Bills, Tom Foss, Paul Ogata and John Bizarre performed amid boisterous laughter from the audience. All four are veterans of Comics on Duty and have traveled around the world - to include Iraq and Afghanistan - to perform for troops.
"I've been with Comics on Duty since the late nineties," Bizarre said. "I've toured in Iraq three times and Afghanistan four. I love entertaining the troops, and I can see that we're making a difference."
Since Comics on Duty was started in 1992, comedians have performed at more than 3,000 events, at venues ranging from dinner clubs to distant forward operating bases in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"We did a show in Kuwait," Bizarre said, "(and more than) 25,000 troops came to watch. Afterwards, almost every single one lined up to shake our hands. It was a great experience, and it is the least I can do."
The event was sponsored by Fort Drum Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, as well as the That Guy alcohol awareness campaign. The show was free to military ID card holders.
"MWR's helping to promote That Guy while giving Soldiers and their Families a chance to relax and enjoy the night," said Michelle Roden, special events coordinator with FMWR. "I expect us all to have a good time."
"It was an amazing show," said Jennifer Sullivan, a military spouse. "They did a good job coming up with material that Soldiers can identify with."
Bill Bowles, prevention coordinator for Fort Drum's Army Substance Abuse Program, was present to hand out T-shirts and other goods to bring more awareness about That Guy.
That Guy is a campaign funded by the Department of Defense to caution service members against binge drinking by using humorous pamphlets and videos.