Stand-up Comedian Brings Substance Abuse Prevention Message to Hampton Roads

Story Number: NNS130305-16Release Date: 3/5/2013 9:03:00 PM
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By Robin Holland, Training Support Center Hampton Roads Public Affairs

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (NNS) -- Training Support Center Hampton Roads' (TSCHR) Drug and Alcohol Programs Advisor (DAPA) team hosted a creative way of teaching substance abuse by hosting a local comedian with a message Feb. 25-27.

Bernie McGrenahan, stand-up comedian, brought his show 'Happy Hour -- Comedy with a Message' to 850 Naval Education and Training service members and civilians.

McGrenahan's 90-minute show combined comedy and his own true-life experiences and tragedies. McGrenahan kicked-off his show by focusing on funny stories.

"I'm trying a different inspirational approach anyone can relate to and change their life," said McGrenahan.

According to McGrenahan, he was addicted to alcohol, had a difficult time holding down a job due to his three Driving Under the Influence (DUI) arrests, spent six months in county jail; all by the age of 25. Alcohol abuse was also a major factor in the suicide of McGrenhan's younger brother.

"I don't want you to feel sorry for me because my brother killed himself. I played the victim card for far too long," said McGrenahan.

Today, McGrenahan has been sober for 20 years. He is also featured in the comedy book '"I Killed" -- True Road Stories from America's Top Comedians.'

"The last thing anyone wants to do is sit through another boring mandatory PowerPoint presentation," said Chief Aviation Ordnanceman Terry Cox, TSCHR DAPA. "Our DAPA team is always trying to think outside the box by providing interactive training to reach junior service members. If only one service member seeks help as a result of Bernie's show, then we've done our job."

"We're not saying not to drink, unless of course one is underage; what we are saying is if you decide to drink, then to do so responsibly and have a safe plan," added Cox. "Bernie's show was just what we were looking for --and as a matter of fact, we've received so much positive feedback from the audience, we plan to invite him back next year."

"I hope I inspired everyone to realize how amazing life can be without drinking," added McGrenahan.
TSCHR provides centralized student management and infrastructure support to learning centers and learning sites in the Hampton Roads area of responsibility, including direct support to the fleet through an aggressive liaison service between fleet training officers and learning centers sites and schedulers.

For more information about TSC Hampton Roads, visit the TSCHR website:

For more information about the Naval Education and Training Command, visit the NETC website:

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