My best friend Julie (the girl who was beaten up by enormous litterbugs in Philly, my co-conspirator in the fake poo debacle, and fellow chef of “Hot Boy Christmas Cookie Delivery”), is finishing up her comedy tour in the Persian Gulf. For the past week she’s gone from base to base by Black Hawk helicopter to do stand-up for our servicemen and women. She’s performed almost five shows per day for injured veterans and amputees, Army soldiers, and guys waiting to hop a plane to Afghanistan. She said the troops are so grateful that her and the other comedians are there that it’s practically awkward.
As a former Navy gal herself (she and Grey were classmates at the Naval Academy), I think she knows how hellish deployments can get. I remember when Grey was deployed for seven months to the Gulf, his letters and emails sounded downright depressed. The military guys and girls are without friends and family for months on end, missing things like baby’s first steps, best friend’s wedding…ugh, makes me want to cry. When Julie was on deployment she wasn’t even allowed to come home for our other best friend Katie’s funeral. It was awful. The sacrifices people in the military make for all of us are heart wrenching.
But even now that Julie’s just about as far from an officer in the Navy as you can get — an LA-based musical comedian and actress — I love that she still makes time to give back — and what a more deserving crowd than our troops. A laugh can go a long way; I can’t imagine the positive impact she (and her jokes) have had on her audiences.