Comedy is the Cure combines resiliency training with laughter
Comedian Bernie McGrenahan delivered an entertaining and educational take on resiliency training for Soldiers and civilians with Comedy is the Cure on July 20 at Cochise Theater, Fort Huachuca, Arizona. McGrenahan shares his story and path to sobriety, his struggle with grief at the loss of his brother, and reconnection with family. (Photo Credit: Karen Stevens Sampson) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz. — Comedian Bernie McGrenahan delivered an entertaining and educational take on resiliency training for Soldiers and civilians with Comedy is the Cure on July 20 at Cochise Theater.

In a long list of mandated prevention and risk-reduction briefings, the Soldier & Family Readiness Center, or SFRC, hosted a memorable training opportunity.

McGrenahan’s delivery drew the audience into the conversation and his performance.

“Is the moral of my story to you, ‘Drinking alcohol is bad; don’t do it?’” he asked. “Absolutely not!”

McGrenahan not only shared his downward spiral with substance abuse, he shared his path to sobriety, his grief of losing his brother, and the reconnection with his family.

“I have never worn a uniform,” he said. “I will never know what it is like to be a Soldier. But, I’ll tell you what, I know alcohol like the back of my hand.”

McGrenahan shared his cautionary tale about ignoring the signs of substance abuse imparting valuable tools for self-awareness.

When someone thinks they are managing excessive alcohol use, more often than not, they are fooling themselves, he said.

“Alcohol is cunning, baffling and powerful!” he exclaimed.

Hearing McGrenahan’s story is a priceless opportunity because battles of this kind are often fought in silence.

Soldiers gathered in a circle around him.

“So, why am I here telling you this story?” he asked.

McGrenahan fanned out a stack of photos holding each high in the air and introduced each as someone who had a story to tell.

Each person is a lovingly-earned milestone on his journey with sobriety, he said.

“This training just hits different,” said Sgt. 1st Class Saquawia Pennington, victim advocate assigned to 111th Military Intelligence Brigade.

“One minute your laughing hysterically, next thing you know, you are crying,” she said.

Pennington explained attendees benefit from tying a genuine feeling to what they learn or witness during an event.

“The show was very funny, insightful and inspiring,” she added.

Training was not an assigned slide presentation or video lesson, Comedy is the Cure was an engaging, impactful and interactive experience.

“We’ve all had an indirect or direct experience with domestic violence, sexual harassment, sexual assault, suicide, alcohol and/or substance abuse, and financial issues in our lives,” said Cheri L. Weber, director, SFRC.

“When we are struggling with these experiences, it is hard to ask for help, and we might feel it’s perceived as a weakness,” she explained.

“What we want our community to know is, you don’t have to walk through these life challenges alone.

“Resources are available here that could save your life or someone else’s.”

Editor’s note: See the complete photo album online at

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Fort Huachuca is home to the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, the U.S. Army Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM)/9th Army Signal Command and more than 48 supported tenants representing a diverse, multiservice population. Our unique environment encompasses 964 square miles of restricted airspace and 2,500 square miles of protected electronic ranges, key components to the national defense mission.

Located in Cochise County, in southeast Arizona, about 15 miles north of the border with Mexico, Fort Huachuca is an Army installation with a rich frontier history. Established in 1877, the Fort was declared a national landmark in 1976.

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