JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash.-Sounds of airplanes and helicopters were silenced by thunderous roars of laughter from the hundreds of servicemembers and their families who came out to enjoy the comedic stylings of funny man Jay Leno at Hangar 4 on McChord Field May 7.

"Jay Leno is an awesome supporter of the reserve (Air Force) and the military overall," said Lt. Col. Bryan Winter, commander, Western Recruiting Squadron. "The event itself is a 'Get One Event,' meaning we are promoting awareness of the Air Force Reserve."

Though everyone came out to enjoy the side-splitting stand-up routine of Leno, his take of the follies of life served more than one purpose. It helped create awareness of the importance retention and recruiting play in day-to-day world of military life.

Some servicemembers felt privileged to have someone of Leno's caliber take time out of his busy schedule to give credit were credit is due.

"It makes me feel amazing," said Chief Master Sgt. Glen Barnes, chief of advertising for Air Force Reserve Command Recruiting Service. "When we do get the chance to work with them (celebrities), you don't even think about the time you put in because you already know the amount of time that the artist is freely giving up in order to show their support for the military."

This will not be the only stop for Leno. Barnes stated Leno also will not be the only artist the Air Force Reserve Recruiting Command will bring to various bases.

"Jay Leno is part of Tour for the Troops, and certain artists like Kid Rock, Carlos Mencia, Usher, Ludacris and other artists will be coming around to thank the guard, reserve and active duty servicemembers for doing what they do," Barnes said. "Air Force Reserve Recruiting brings these artists to different places and makes it (performances) happen."

"These shows give servicemembers the chance to enjoy a small aspect of what being a reservist is all about," Barnes added. "The opportunity to become a reservist will broaden their horizons. If someone is thinking about becoming a reservist, the first thing I tell them is talk to a reservist. No one knows what it is like to have that job better than someone who actually is a reservist.

"It is very important to us to continue to keep well-qualified people in the service," he added.

"The message I always give is that the grass might look greener when your getting ready to separate, but you have to explore all your options," Barnes said.

"I tell folks that all the time. The Air Force reserve may not be that perfect fit for you, but if you don't open those doors you will never know," he added.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16