Comedian Visits Troops on Remote Isle


Story Number: NNS021230-08Release Date: 12/30/2002 9:28:00 AM
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By Journalist 1st Class Jeremy L. Wood, Navy Support Facility Diego Garcia Public Affairs

DIEGO GARCIA (NNS) -- This year's Christmas on Diego Garcia was made a little more special with a holiday visit from comedian Drew Carey from ABC's "Who's Line is it Anyway?" and "The Drew Carey Show."

Carey arrived on a P-3 Orion from Patrol Squadron (VP) 46 early Christmas morning. Much of Carey's first day was spent at Camp Justice with U.S. Air Force personnel. While in Camp Justice, he visited airman during lunch and at their posts. He performed a short impromptu stand-up routine before traveling to the island's downtown area to visit with Sailors.

After celebrating Christmas with VP-46 in Tropical Park, dressed in a desert-camouflage blouse, Carey visited and ate with Sailors during the island's Christmas dinner at the galley.

"I enjoy visiting with the enlisted folks at the deckplates," Carey said. "I can appreciate the hard work all of you are doing."

When asked how he got his start in the acting, Carey said, "While in the Marine Reserves, I was looking for a way to make some more money, and it was suggested that I try using my jokes." Carey was paid about $10 a joke during his first stand-up. Eventually, he found his way into show business.

"I think if I did not have such a great break, I would still be in the military," said Carey. "I still wear my hair short and have the glasses. Also, I enjoyed the regimen and camaraderie. I knew that once I left the Reserves, I would give back to the military, so I teamed up with the USO."

One Sailor, Yeoman 3rd Class Mandy Murphy of Navy Support Facility Administrative Office, was also afforded the opportunity to be Carey's island escort.

"It was an awesome privilege," said Murphy. "There were signs welcoming him and long lines to greet him. He made it fun. Also, I had the opportunity to see areas of the island that I have not seen, either.

"It showed that what we do out here is well worth it and appreciated," smiled Murphy. "He was so down to earth."

During Carey's two-day tour, he managed to get in a kickball game with Security Group Detachment Sailors. Also, he made an appearance at the ship's store, Aviation Intermediate Maintenance Department and Chief Petty Officer's Mess for an autograph session and greetings. Rounding out his tour of the island, he visited the attack submarine USS Columbia (SSN 771) and the U.S. Army's new high-speed transport catamaran USAV Spearhead (TSV-1X).

His visit was topped off with a stand-up performance on the Island Room's stage.

During his USO and AFFES sponsored tour, Carey also visited Singapore before returning to Los Angeles. This trip made the fifth such tour he has done in his career. Other locations he has previously visited were Kosovo, Bosnia and the Arabian Gulf.

For more information on Naval Support Facility Diego Garcia, go to www.dg.navy.mil.

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comedian Drew Carey signs a birthday card
021226-N-4614W-001 Diego Garcia (Dec. 26, 2002) -- American actor and comedian Drew Carey signs a birthday card for Disbursing Clerk 2nd Class Kaleena Thomas from Canyon, Texas, during his visit to the Ship's Store. While in the Marine reserves, Carey's military buzz cut and black, wide-rimmed glasses became part of his trademark look. Carey is known to many Sailors and their families from television's "The Drew Carey Show" and "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" Carey stopped on the island during a United Service Organizations (USO) sponsored tour. U.S. Navy photo by Journalist 1st Class Jeremy L. Wood. (RELEASED)
December 27, 2002
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