Very honored to be able to play a small part in a really impressive organization. If I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s important to be there for people.
Veterans Coming Home put together a short piece from a night I got to perform with some real American heroes now performing stand-up comedy thanks to The Armed Services Arts Partnership. I am on the ASAP advisory committee and have fortunately gotten to spend time with a few of the Comedy Bootcamp graduates. It’s a really special non-profit making positive things happen for our Veterans, Active Military & their families.
I’m pretty much done with the endless anger (and insecurity) on display about EVERYTHING in our present lives. I feel like someone whose neighbors on all four walls never stop fighting. I think it’s important to also feel beyond one’s self. This brief moment from my youth makes up a big part of my personal foundation. My hope when I agreed to share stories with military.com was to be funny and positive. I hope this latest one touches on a bit of both while slipping in a nice message as well. Enjoy your holiday season my friends. PJ
My military service is very far in my rear view mirror. I know my story and, more importantly, what it means to me. Since my time in the service, I’ve heard, befriended and in a small fashion been a part of many other veteran’s stories. Men and women who have sacrificed a great deal more while in uniform then I can even imagine, but all experiences I know are reality.
I owe so much to this group of people and I’m lucky to maintain a connection to them. My personal cost did not add up to much and I’m fully aware of how fortunate that is. It’s part of why I never feel any need to be thanked – my time in the military was really good to and for me.
Saying “thank you” feels more right to me. Thank you to all those who have had so much taken from them while serving under the very same colors as I did. I live my life for you and I will continue to do the best I can.
I sat in a C-130 plane transporting remains of lost service members in August of 2007. I was on the tail end of a month long tour of the Middle East entertaining troops. That late night into early morning the universe took on a silence I can still feel to this day.
As I sat for 5 or so hours with American Flag draped coffins, I realized how precious life really is. I reflected on all I’ve been able to do since I wore a uniform. The time that has passed and the value life has gained with that time. Time that whomever was in those Flag Draped coffins no longer had.
I did not know their branch of service, their gender, age or final destination to be laid to rest. What I do know is what they sacrificed. Who they made that sacrifice for & most of all why. I know it in my bones and have never been the same since.
That part has not always been easy. Maybe it’s a dramatic nature, empathy or just life, but they never really leave me. I’m not haunted. I’m aware. Very aware how precious life is. How fortunate mine has been and I often wonder why? I ponder once in awhile about why. Why am I still trotting about when others are not. I’m no better than anyone. Especially those who we shared that plane ride with. Why am I living a pretty amazing life?
My answer is because of individuals like them. Individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice. I participated in the removal (from the plane) ceremony. Standing at parade rest in muster with active service members. When the caskets draped in our colors came within view we all snapped to attention. It was the 1st time I’d done so in over a decade. It also took on a new meaning that very second.
In a way Memorial Day is daily for me. For many no doubt. It’s a precious thing… This life. You don’t realize how precious life is until you live one. I’m still living. Thank You The Fallen