Operation Proper Exit is a program that returns wounded warriors to the place of their injuries in the hopes of finding closure and a sense of purpose in their service. Although many left the field of battle unconscious, only to wake up a world away at a later time, the men participating in OPE say that there is peace to be found in leaving the field for a second time, this time by their own volition. That is the proper exit they deserve.
As the third iteration of Operation Proper Exit makes its way through the Persian Gulf, one story of another wounded veteran caught our attention. Staff Sgt. Bobby Henline suffered burns on almost half of his body after being wounded in Iraq in 2007. Remarkably, he has turned this experience into – you ready for this? – a career in comedy. And that’s no laughing matter. Well, actually, it is.
Recently interviewed by Andrew Short for Punchline magazine, Henline conceded that his “ultimate goal is to put together a USO tour and give back to the veterans, using his injuries and comedy as an example of making the best of the darkest situations.” How cool is that? We’re so flattered.
If you live in the San Antonio, TX, area you can catch him live at Rivercenter Comedy Club. Luckily for everyone else, NPR’s Terry Gildea interviewed Henline; you can hear the interview below. To read a full transcript or view the acc0mpanying article, please visit NPR’s website. We are incredibly inspired by his story and hope you will be, too. And keep an eye on this blog for upcoming pictures and more from Operation Proper Exit.