Comics on Duty Bring Laughs to Carter Hall

Story Number: NNS100303-02Release Date: 3/3/2010 4:33:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (SW/AW) Hendrick L. Dickson, Navy Public Affairs Support Element East

ABOARD USS CARTER HALL, Caribbean Sea (NNS) -- Navy Entertainment's "Comics on Duty" tour made a stop aboard USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) Feb. 24 to entertain the Sailors and Marines deployed in support of Operation Unified Response.

Comedians Steve Simeone and Tom Foss performed two shows for more than 400 Sailors and Marines aboard the dock landing ship.

"It's great to be able to perform for the service members," said Foss. "There are Sailors and Marines out here working 24 hour work days. I love to be able to get everybody out here together for an hour and have a few laughs--You can't beat that."

The comedians also put on a show for Seabees and Marines at the beach landing zone site (Blue Beach) in Grand Goave, Haiti a few miles from the ship. That crew has been camped out for the past month, delivering humanitarian relief supplies and removing rubble and debris from nearby areas. Aside from the service members, the Grand Goave show also had a few other unexpected fans.

"There were three or four Haitian children out there, and they were just watching us move around, being silly. And when the Sailors and Marines were clapping and laughing, they started laughing too. It was awesome," said Simeone.

The crew appreciated the performers taking the time to come out and show their support. For many, it was a well-deserved break from the daily routine.

"It was a good break for all of the Sailors. To come here, and just relax... it was a great morale booster," said Boatswain's Mate 3rd Class Ben Boggs.

As much as the Sailors and Marines appreciated the show, it seems as if the comedians appreciated it more as they praised the crew for the sacrifices they make daily.

"I was supposed to be in Vegas right now," said Simeone, "but I chose to come here instead. Being here is much more rewarding. If it wasn't for you guys, we wouldn't be able to do what we do."

Foss, who has been a part of the tour since 2005, shares those sentiments.

"I will be doing this until I can't walk up and down that ramp [in the ship's well deck] anymore," he said. "That's how much I love it."

USS Carter Hall (LSD 50) is part of the Bataan Amphibious Relief Mission. The multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) is on station in Haiti with the amphibious dock landing ships USS Fort McHenry (LSD 43) and Carter Hall supporting Operation Unified Response, a joint humanitarian assistance mission to Haiti following the 7.0 magnitude that devastated the island country.

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