An Email From A Soldier

The media has been covering a few stories lately that has put individuals in our armed forces in a bad light. In every large organization there are bad elements. These are humans. I by no means condone the actions I have been reading about. Just want people to remember the United States Armed Forces is a very large group of people. These stories are just a tiny number in the scale of brave people who serve. I know this because I served & spend a lot of time with people that currently do.  I have found a few meat-heads on occasion. Much like the “real” world. But for the very most part they are thoughtful, caring & brave people who stand for something. They stand next to each other when called upon. Now the people that make the called upon decision… Not a fan!

 I open my email inbox and this happened…

Subject: Hey From (MAJ)
PJ,
Hey, you may not remember me but you performed an amazing show at Dogwood Iraq in 2005. Yep, I know it’s been very long time. Since then I’ve been deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 and now, I’m back in Afgahnistan for another deployment.
Hope all is going well with you. I have this saying, “You meet people in life for a reason” in most cases it’s just to meet…. but you never forget them. You’re a person I will never forget.
Best wishes, 
Somehow whenever my mind strays off into the what I haven’t done, what I don’t have … all that just useless way of thinking. The universe sets me straight with how blessed I am. What an amazing life I live. “You meet people in life for a reason” goes both ways. Thank you Major! I also will never forget. I will also never forget this represents who serves our country. Great individuals like the major. I’m not an “armchair quarterback” with opinions achieved by reading & watching the news. I have been there. In the media they say “if it bleeds it leads”. The truth is not as selling. Good people willing to risk their lives for us.  Sad that is not a top story daily.

R.I.P. Whitney Houston – Sorry I Slept Through Your Concert.

I saw Whitney Houston in concert when I was either a sophomore or junior in High School. We are talking Whitney at the very top of her game! ““The Bodyguard” in its entirety whenever the chance arises? For years I have told the story how I saw Whitney Houston in concert in high school & I fell asleep. Which I completely did. I was out cold after she sang the 3 hits I knew. From then on it was all gospel songs and well… Zzzzzzzz’s. BUT THOSE 3 HITS!

Looking back… I’m completely aware that I was an unappreciative teenage idiot with a mullet. Funny thing is as time passed I never in my mind registered Whitney Houston as anything but that Whitney who sang those 3 hits. The tabloids never influenced me; the “Bobby Brown years” as I guess they can be called never tarnished the image she left in my mind singing those 3 hits. In a way I feel I again slept through the stuff I didn’t like.

The more artists I encounter. Have friendships with & the longer I perform myself. It becomes so savagely clear what a painfully heart-wrenching business this can be. I could not even comprehend for a moment what it would be like as an industry- changing young African –American woman placed in the spotlight of the world’s stage at such a young age. So for me Whitney Houston is that amazing singer acting opposite Kevin Costner’s horrible haircut in the classic “The Bodyguard”. She’s that amazing talent I got to witness belt out 3 incredible hits. Everything else… Zzzzzzzz’s

Thank You Clarence Clemons – “And The Big Man Joined The Band”

Another instrument that contributed to so many individuals life soundtrack faded away this weekend. When I got the news Clarence Clemons passed I was at a Barnes & Noble at The Grove in Hollywood. I was going down the escalator and I felt such a sadness. For me Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band have been more then just a group. They have been some of my most valued experiences. The relationship between Bruce & The Big Man influenced my eyes & my heart to live a life that looks at humanity colorless. I have many African- American friends. Male & female. I have many Jewish, Christian, Atheist, Latino, Asian, Republican, Democrat, Gay and so on. I have one piece of “Art” I had ever purchased. It is one of those “authentic” pictures that come with a letter & stamp of some sorts. I paid a bunch for it. Not because it was “authentic” but because it was Bruce & Clarence together on stage at that amazing moment in “

The Last Carnival – bruce springsteen by runawaydream

House passes ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ repeal.

United States House of Representatives approves repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell‘ as they should. I cannot believe we are still having this discussion? As a veteran of the armed forces (NAVY even) & a straight man (Gay jokes are to easy here if your thinking this post needs one. Higher your bar) if you are willing to put your LIFE at risk for us. YOUR LIFE! Sexual orientation should not come into question. Your heart is in an amazing place & we should all be thanking you for it. Not having you hide who you truly are. You fight for our freedom; you should be able to enjoy it. My thoughts anyway… oh and for the people that say “well they will look at us in the shower an stuff”. If you’re willing to save my ass… you can have a look at my ass! Although you might want to wear sunglasses. Pretty pale!

REVIEWS FOR MY PLAY “OVER THERE: COMEDY IS HIS BEST WEAPON” ARE AMAZING!

BOTTOM LINE: Hilarious show by a current stand-up comedian and former member of the U.S. Navy that goes much deeper than you’d expect… Walsh plays all of these characters from his life with such skill that they really pop off the stage… I highly recommend this show. It’ll make you laugh, think, and leave with a glimpse to a side of stand-up you might not expect to see.

Ben Charles, Theater is Easy (theasy.com), August 15, 2010

Thankfully, I got to see this fantastic, heartfelt, hilarious one-freckled-man show… Instead of just a guffaw, OVER THERE offers a thought-provoking, side-splitting journey through PJ Walsh’s not so ordinary life… just when you’re thinking you can laugh no more, he hits you in the stomach with raw emotion and you realize his comic agenda is not just about him but to help and support others as well. I’ve already told my friends to go see this show and now I’m telling you.

Maura Kelley, nytheatre.com, August 13, 2010

The one-hour comedy show is a fusion of Walsh’s quick wit and insightful observations about life as a soldier and civilian… The poignant narrative intertwines the solemnity of war with the humor of Walsh’s inner thoughts.  “Over There — Comedy Is His Best Weapon” demonstrates Walsh’s keen eye to see comedy in the ebb and flow of every day events while tackling larger issues such as war and growing up.

Brian Willett, bloginity.com, August 8, 2010

In “Over There: Comedy Is His Best Weapon,” the Queens-based writer and standup comic relates his personal journey through three wars — as an enlistee and as part of Comics on Duty — and through being President Clinton’s dental technician. “He could floss more and use a fluoride rinse,” says Walsh, “like most people.

Joe Dziemianowicz, The Daily News, August 7, 2010

If you’re looking for laughs in the humble form of true talent and motivation, then check out PJ Walsh at the NYC Fringe Festival. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll leave ready to conquer the world, or at least a small part of it.

Sheena Vega, Independent Media Magazine, August 4, 2010

Comedian / Veteran Advocate