Comedy Warriors: Healing Through Humor

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There is nothing more human than our capacity to laugh at ourselves and the foibles of life we have no control over.

This is the story of five veterans who are talking about their lives after serving in the military:

Bobby Henline — a soldier who is scarred physically by war but healthier than most of us. His wounds are severe and frightening, but he has transcended them with his personality, character, and humility.

Rob Jones — a Marine who joined up as a combat engineer, training in the use of explosives and the detection of buried IEDs and weapons caches. He was wounded by an IED and the injury resulted in double above knee amputations of both legs. However, this did not stop in his love of rowing, biking and other sports.

Joe Kashnow — Joe served in Iraq with the 4th Infantry Division from April 2003 until September 2003, when he was wounded by a road-side bomb. He was hit by flying debris and that injury led to 18 months of surgery and eventually, to the amputation of his right leg below the knee. Fortunately, known for his sense of humor with family and friends, Joe stated that he wanted to show people that it’s okay to laugh at these moments in life.

Steve Rice — a retired US Army 1st Lieutenant who, while on combat operations in Baghdad, Iraq, was injured by an improvised explosive device which resulted in the loss of his left leg below the knee. After two years of intensive rehabilitation, Rice’s attitude is still strong and strong-willed for laughter and humor.

Darisse Smith — Darisse went on to Flight School and became an OH 58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter pilot, learning the basics of the Air Cavalry mission. Due to the poor ergonomic design of the Kiowa Warrior helicopter seat, Darisse suffered a severe lower back injury that resulted in permanent nerve damage to her left leg. She was medically discharged from the Army in March 2007. She has retained her sense of humor throughout her long struggles with pain, and was able to use that experience to transition quickly into performing standup.

Don’t miss this one. If you think you’ve had it tough — these veterans have a message for you.

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