Sure, he’s funny, but he’s also a trained killer
Mideast edition, Thursday, August 23, 2007
ARLINGTON, Va. — For entertainer Rob Riggle, being a Marine and a comedian complement each other.
Both comedians and Marines have to make the best of a situation given what they have, said Riggle, of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.”
“They both require thinking on your feet, you using all the skills available to you, improvising [and] people skills,” said Riggle, who also is a major in the Selected Marine Corps Reserve.
Riggle is a public affairs officer assigned to the Individual Mobilization Augmentee Detachment in Kansas City, Mo., according to Marine Forces Reserve.
Riggle, who earned a Combat Action Ribbon for his service in Kosovo, recently returned from Iraq where he entertained troops as part of a USO tour.
He said he made the trip because he promised himself once he got into comedy that if he ever got a chance to give back to U.S. troops, he would do so.
“I kept my promise to myself,” Riggle said. “I went to the Pentagon, I proposed it, they said yes, and I did it.”
Riggle flew from the United States to Kuwait and then to Iraq, where he visited several U.S. bases including camps Anaconda and Bucca, and Forward Operating Bases McHenry and Brassfield-Mora, he said. But he missed the show at Anaconda because his plane was late.
He and other comedians avoided political humor to avoid making the troops feel uncomfortable, he said.
“We were there to entertain the troops, have fun, make them feel comfortable and entertain them,” Riggle said.
After their shows, Riggle said he and the other comedians would end up talking to the troops until the early morning.
“They just wanted to talk to us a lot and tell us what they did, what their mission was,” he said. “They wanted to let us know what they did on a daily basis and we wanted to hear it.”
Riggle said he was deployed to Afghanistan twice between 2001 and 2002, so he knows that “it sucks” to be away from friends and families during holidays.
“Sometimes there is a nagging feeling when you’re overseas where you wonder, does anyone back home remember what we’re doing over here? Do they even think about us on a daily basis?” Riggle said. “And I wanted them to know yes we are thinking about them and yes we are caring about them.”