The GIs of Comedy was brought to life by former US Army Staff Sergeant Thom Tran. While serving in Iraq during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom in 2003, four days after crossing the border into Iraq, Thom was wounded during a firefight when a sniper’s bullet found it’s way to the back of his skull. He bandaged himself up, continued the mission, and finished his 12 month tour in Iraq. He was medically retired in 2005, and returned to civilian life. Once home Thom struggled with Post-Combat Trauma (as many veterans do), and also had a very difficult time transitioning back to day-to-day civilian life. Desperately seeking ways to cope with his trauma, Thom found comedy.
“Comedy helps me get through the days. The good ones and the bad ones”, says Tran. “I know a lot of troops who are still struggling the way I am. Comedy helped me, so I want to help bring the laughter to them too. I’m an NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer) at heart. My job is to take care of troops. That’s what I want to do. That’s what we all want to do.”
Thom created the GIs of Comedy Tour in 2010 to fulfill two needs. The first, to help his brothers and sisters in arms, both active duty and veterans, feel the healing power of laughter, knowing first hand how traumatic a combat deployment can be on both body and mind. And the second, to help heal his own injuries, both physical and mental, after he was medically retired from the Army.
Their mission and their goal is to help heal their fellow soldiers with their comedy, and to bring laughter to all those who have supported the people that wear the uniform of the United States Armed Forces. Quite simply, as the motto says, they’re Standup Comics. All Veterans. Still Serving Their Country. One Joke At A Time.
Thom is joined by Jose Sarduy and Tom Irwin, who are also both veterans of the United States Army and Air Force. All now professional comedians trying to bring laughter to their brothers and sisters still in uniform.
In an effort to further their mission of bringing healing through laughter to our troops, the GIs of Comedy will be filming a 1-hour comedy special on Saturday, November 2nd, in Buffalo, New York. This Indiegogo campaign will allow the GIs of Comedy to produce this 1-hour special, and send 20,000 DVD copies of the show to military personnel serving our country overseas.
The GIs of Comedy Special will be filmed at the Rockwell Peforming Arts Center at Buffalo State College. The Rockwell Performing Arts Center has a seating capacity of 856 seats, which will be filled to the max with both veterans and active military personnel. The facility and student staffing for the performance are both being donated by Buffalo State College. Taking center stage and delivering comedy for the night, will be the GIs of Comedy team (Thom Tran, Tom Irwin and Jose Sarduy), whose primary mission is to bring healing to our warriors through laughter.
This special night is about giving back to the men and women that currently serve, and have previously served our country, and the GIs of Comedy will be pulling out all the stops to make them feel the appreciation and gratitude that they all deserve. Your contributions will have a direct positive impact on our troops. This campaign will allow the GIs of Comedy to directly touch the lives of 20,000 men and women who protect our county every day, and need the gift of laughter.
Buffalo State College is donating their state of the art performing arts center, student staffing and equipment to produce this event; however, additional funding is needed for following:
- Production crew members
- Travel expenses
- Equipment not available at the facility
- Set design and integration
- Motion graphics elements
- 100% of funding received will go directly towards the production of this special
Fundraising will be accomplished in two stages. In addition to this first stage, there will be a second stage of fundraising for post production needs.
An incredible set of perks has been put in place for this life-changing project! But the greatest perk is the Karma that you will receive by having a positive impact on the people who risk their lives protecting our country.