Armed Forces Entertainment presented service members with a free, adult comedy show Aug. 18 at the Ramstein Enlisted Club. The 90-minute performance was put on by the GIs of Comedy, a group of four stand-up comedians who are all combat veterans.
The group was formed in 2010 by retired Army Staff Sgt. Thom Tran, a comedian and writer. While in the Army, Tran was medically separated after being wounded during a combat deployment.
“I didn’t leave the Army because I wanted to. I left because I was wounded in combat in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003,” Tran said. “Leaving was not my choice. It was a medical necessity.”
The group also consists of Air Force Reserve Maj. Jose Sarduy, 96th Flying Training Squadron flight instructor from Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas; retired Navy veteran Patrick “PJ” Walsh; and Army Reserve Master Sgt. Benari Poulten from Los Angeles.
The show was a free performance to boost the morale of service members in the KMC. The GIs partnered with the Special Operations Warriors Foundation in 2012 and 2013 and raised more than $10,000 in donations for the charity.
“We’re also attached to an organization that raises funds for those who don’t make it back from deployments,” Poulten said.
Not only did the show bring laughs to the audience, it benefited the performers as well. Tran said being on stage is a lot of fun as well as being therapeutic for him.
“When I came home from Iraq I didn’t laugh, I didn’t smile and this would’ve been something that would’ve helped,” he said. “If I can keep helping the troops by performing and being therapeutic, I’m still doing my job as a non-commissioned officer.”
For more information on the comedy team, visit www.gisofcomedy.com.