Tag Archives: marines

In Stitches: Episode 1. Adam Keys is 99% Dishwasher Safe!

Introducing In Stitches Podcast, an interview-style podcast that explores the humanity in humor.

I’m very passionate about sharing stories of people who have inspired me and I’m equally passionate about the power of laughter. To me, they are both the surprise recognition that we are not alone and provide us with similar experience, clarity, perspective, inspiration, growth & very often a much needed release.

One person who has inspired me (and become a good friend!) is Armed Services Arts Partnership – ASAP founder, Sam Pressler. Our friendship had been forged cultivating a community where veterans, active service members, military families and caregivers can experience support, growth & an outlet through the arts. And our conversations continue to go way beyond that, which led us to creating this podcast!

Sam and I are going to be talking to people from all types of backgrounds: comics and non-comics, first responders and civilians, and everyone in between. In every episode, we’ll unearth the role that humor played in our guests’ lives—both how humor helped and, sometimes, how humor hurt. We hope to capture that messy middle between comedy and tragedy, laughter and tears. 

In our inaugural Episode, we speak with Adam Keys – “One Step Forward” – During Adam’s first tour in Afghanistan his vehicle hit an Improvised explosive device. He was the only survivor, lost three limbs and has undergone 140+ surgeries. Adam refused to be defined by what he’s lost, but chooses to be defined by what he’s gained, which includes a killer sense of humor!

Please do us a favor by following the In Stitches Podcast page, give us a like, leave a comment & help support these incredible individuals by listening and sharing!

YouTube: https://youtu.be/1XrIwwFNFdA

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/4S3YUjDT8Btm7DKm0qMdCq

Google: https://rb.gy/lfftip

I Am Hampton Roads: Sam Pressler

Please share this young mans story. We NEED more Sam Pressler’s in the world. When Sam contacted me a few years ago with his vision for the Armed Services Arts Partnership I could feel his passion. I held zero doubt he was the REAL DEAL! A young man of ACTIONS that followed up smart, compassionate & thought out words. He went on to make the Forbes list of “30 Under 30” for his work with Military Veterans, Active Duty & Families. Thank you Kerri Furey and everyone at The Hampton Roads Show for shining the spotlight on a phenomenal person! Congrats Sam! #inspirational

My Two Cents

The contributions and ultimate sacrifice of heroes are being diluted by politicians, news anchors, and individuals in echo chambers. I can tell you from my own experience, traveling with coffins draped with flags and participating in removal ceremonies, that I know in my bones how much of my life, happiness, and freedom I owe to every heroic service member and their families. It is a constant part of my mindset. It also represents the tiniest fraction of discomfort when compared to the sacrifices of our fallen and their families. Get over yourselves left, right, and center. Feeling like you are right does not give anyone permission to act wrong. This behavior is wrong. Loss requires comfort, listening, and support – at the very least. Those three things are also exactly what is missing from the present political, journalistic, and social media atmospheres. Someone I respect a great deal said these words to me years ago and I feel they are a relevant reminder to our current society… “Get your sh*t together.”

COMEDY AT WAR: Returning Home

My first trip overseas to entertain the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq was in 2004. I was 32 at the time. Close to 80% of our current military weren’t even in high school yet. Comedy and the reality of war have been two consistencies I’ve lived with daily since. On every trip to a war zone, I make new friends and can’t help but identify with them. In 1990, I was a fresh faced seaman. Every time I return home from one of my comedy tours, I pray they do the same…return home. Safely. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.

Bagram Air Base Afghanistan.

My first few weeks home are always a struggle to readjust my sleep and my mental state. I come home caring about different things and taking a very large majority of the world’s problems more seriously. My girlfriend had to sleep in another room last night because I was reacting to every sound and jumping in my sleep. In the four years we’ve been together, that has never happened before. 

Being an entertainer seems so petty to me, when the handshakes, life talks, courage, selflessness, shared laughter, names, and faces are fresh. It doesn’t just shut off for me. It chips away at a part of me each time, without my really being conscious of it. The mind is brutal when you’re not mindful of it. A big part of it is survivor’s guilt. Although I’m very happy not being in the military anymore, the loyalty and connection to every brother and sister serving never leaves. 

The GI’s Of Comedy

I’m grateful that I’ve been doing this long enough to understand/recognize these steps and I feel like I’m mostly sharing this for my fellow comedians who are also military veterans. For everyone else, my point is that these trips I’ve taken to make service members laugh are a complete privilege, but at the same time they break my heart and are a complete mind f*ck. They have had an impact on my thoughts, feelings & life. 

The reason I’m sharing this is because I’m just a comedian. Just a guy spending a week or maybe a month over there. Please imagine a brave man or woman who lives/lived that life on a daily basis for a very very long time. I HATE war. I LOVE warriors. I know the part I play in all of this and I am grateful for my purpose. It has helped me come to terms with what happens over there.  But not with all of it, I believe that’s impossible. All heroes, friends, and strangers please know that for as long as I am walking this earth, I am here for you. Don’t be too proud to talk! PLEASE! I’m here to make you laugh, have a conversation, or just listen. Family, friends, service members, veterans… any and all.  Humanity is my light…