Lone Wolf comedians inspire howls of laughter

Story and Photos by: Spc. Lisa A. Cope
13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs

JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq — Three comedians with the Lone Wolf Comedy Tour performed Sept. 15 at Morale, Welfare and Recreation Center West at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, as part of a 10-day tour in country.

Comedians Olivia Arrington, Thea Vidale and Paul Myrehaug said they performed the four-show tour to help raise the morale of the troops stationed in Iraq, each comedian citing different personal reasons for choosing to perform.

This is Arrington’s fourth tour in Iraq. She said she has been entertaining the military for more than 15 years and has performed in 21 countries.

“I feel a passion and a drive to do this for the military, and to go into these little remote places and see them smile, even if it’s just for 90 minutes,” said Arrington.

Arrington said she has never felt unsafe while with the military; she feels confident in their abilities and trusts in her personal faith.

“My faith in God is way bigger than my fear of man,” said Arrington.

Vidale, a Los Angeles native, said she has a family tie to the military.

“My father was in the military for 28 years,” said Vidale. “It’s a tribute to him.”

Paul Myrehaug, a native of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, said as a stand-up comic, one of his heroes is comedian and actor Bob Hope and he was inspired to follow in his footsteps and perform for the troops.

Sgt. 1st Class Karen R. Stokes, the noncommissioned officer in charge of

personnel for the 49th Transportation battalion, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), said the show was a great opportunity for Soldiers to come together and take some time off.

“Comedy is something you need here, to release all of your stress,” said Stokes, a Virginia Beach, Va., native.

Master Sgt. Michael A. Stansbury, an automated logistics specialist with Port

of Entry Transition Team 4130, said he attended the Sept. 15 show to relax and enjoy a break from his everyday routine.

“All the comics brought something different to the table, and each one of them kept me laughing pretty much the whole show,” said Stansbury.


news photo
Comedian Paul Myrehaug performs Sept. 15 at Morale, Welfare and Recreation Center West at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, during the Lone Wolf comedy tour.
(U.S. Army photo by Spc. Lisa A. Cope)