A milestone in my career

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Next week, I have one of those milestone things happening in my career. I’ll be performing comedy overseas, Kuwait to be specific, and I’m pretty excited about the opportunity. This won’t be my first rodeo performing overseas and certainly not my first trip to Kuwait. In fact, I think I’ve been there a dozen times.
I’ve performed comedy overseas on three separate occasions which included places such as Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, Jordan and Israel, and most recently Japan and Korea, not to mention performing during my actual combat deployments to Iraq. Although I’ve been to Kuwait many times, I’ve never made anyone laugh there. I’m hoping to change that here in the not too distant future.
Honestly, there’s no reason to laugh in Kuwait. Give me Iraq, Afghanistan, or Tuscaloosa any day over Kuwait. I’ve been sick with what is known to many troops as the “Kuwaiti Crud” each time I’ve been there. I mentioned that to someone recently, and they thought I’d said the “280 Crud,” which I’m sure is a real thing, too. There are some places I try not to stop at while traveling on Highway 280.
The “Kuwaiti Crud” comes from cramming transient soldiers into tents like sardines into a can. Bad things are bound to happen to the human body. I’ve felt like death many times in those tents. They sometimes smell like sardines, too. Sweaty socks and 130 degree weather probably have something to do with that.
The reason I have been to Kuwait so many times is because it was the staging point for most troops coming in and out of Iraq be it for the start and end of a tour or for the departure and return from R and R.
What makes this trip a milestone in my career is that it will be my first opportunity in the comedy world performing overseas on my own. My other trips were with a group of comedians. Additionally, the other tours were booked through the Pentagon and Armed Forces Entertainment and was specifically for the troops, whereas this show is actually for a private contracting company; however, most of the employees are former military, so it is right up my alley. The gentleman who made this happen for me was actually my battalion commander during my first deployment to Iraq. The colonel is now retired from the army.
I don’t plan on getting the “Kuwaiti Crud” this time either, because I shouldn’t even see a tent. The Christmas party will take place at my hotel in Kuwait City. In fact, I may never leave the hotel. Everything sounds great, and it is, but everything comes with a price.
I’m already dreading the flight over there. I fly from Atlanta to LaGuardia, and then take a taxi to JFK. From there, I fly to Abu Dhabi and then on to Kuwait City. There should be a camel waiting for me upon my arrival. It’s going to be a long, long, very long day. I’ll only be there a couple of days. I’ll have a day of rest, followed by the day of the party and then I fly back the next morning. I think I have a two hour layover on Mars on the way back.
I know it’s going to be another fun adventure, and yet another blessing bestowed upon me from God. Life gets hard sometimes, but in the end, my faith outweighs my doubt, and I am forever grateful for His many blessings.
Jody Fuller is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier with three tours of duty in Iraq. He is also a lifetime stutterer. He can be reached at jody@jodyfuller.com. For more information, please visit www.jodyfuller.com.

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