Stephen Colbert Salutes the Troops

Gen. Ray Odierno, Commanding General, Multinational-Force-Iraq, pretends to give actor/comedian Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" a haircut during Colbert's performance for U.S. military personnel at Al Faw Palace in Baghdad, Sunday, June 7, 2009. (USO Photo by Steve Manuel)

We can hardly believe it’s been over a year since the USO named Stephen Colbert “Mr. USO” and sent him to Iraq for a week-long taping and airing of The Colbert Report.  That tour was a smashing success, with hundreds of Troops able to enjoy the show in person and millions more viewers back home.

Beginning yesterday and continuing through tonight, The Colbert Report is dedicating two special episodes as a salute to the Troops.  “Been There: Won That: The Returnification of the American-Do Troopscape” (yes, that’s the official title!) features several of the same guests who appeared during the Iraq shows, including Gen. Ray Odierno, who – as you’ll recall – participated in one of the most talked about moments from the show: shaving Stephen Colbert’s head.

Last night Colbert returned the favor, by presenting a very special…Well, we won’t give it away.  Just watch the clip (pun intended) below!

New Honor Guard Lounge Opens at the Fort Myer Community Center

President of USO of Metropolitan D.C., Elaine Rogers (center), stands with the president and CEO of Harkins Builders, Richard M. Lombardo (left) and Army Major General Karl Horst, commanding general of Joint Force Headquarters—National Capitol Region and The U.S Military District of Washington to cut the ribbon in front of the lounge, September 8, 2010. (USO photo by Joe Lee)

By Joe Lee, ON★PATROL Staff Writer

USO Metropolitan Washington celebrated the opening of the new Honor Guard Lounge inside the Fort Myer Community Center yesterday with a well-attended ribbon cutting ceremony.

Event speakers included Army Major General Karl Horst, commanding general of Joint Force Headquarters—National Capitol Region and The U.S Military District of Washington; Army Colonel Carl Coffman, joint base commander; and Elaine Rogers, president of USO of Metropolitan D.C..

The lounge is specifically dedicated to the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who serve on the honor guard—charged with burying our fallen warriors at Arlington National Cemetary.

There isn’t a more deserving unit, Coffman said,  as he recalled waking up every morning to a caisson rolling past his home during his first few days as base commander.

“It was a sobering reminder for me,” said Coffman. “Burying our heroes is the most important thing the honor guard does, and they truly are the standard to which we are all held.”

A group of Air Force and Army honor guard members relax in the movie lounge. (USO photo by Joe Lee)

The state-of-the-art lounge boasts a gaming center, a 52-inch plasma TV, five computer workstations, a movie theatre and even a real theatre-style popcorn popper.

“The honor guard delivers first class service to our fallen heroes, and they deserve a first class facility to serve them—I hope this lounge meets and exceeds those expectations,” said Rogers.

Special thanks were given to major contributors Harkins Builders and Quest Software who helped make this $250,000 lounge a reality.

“It’s no surprise that the lounge far exceeds our expectations,” said Coffman. “We never had any doubt.”

Airman First Class Dane Daproza plays Wii in the new honor guard lounge. (USO photo by Joe Lee)

President and CEO of Harkins Builders, Richard M. Lombardo (right) receives the commander’s coin from Army Major General Karl Horst, commanding general of Joint Force Headquarters—National Capitol Region and The U.S Military District of Washington. Miss Virginia, Caitlin Uze, stands between them for the photograph. (USO photo by Joe Lee)