Military Connection: Operation Comedy for Veterans: By Joe Silva

Operation ComedyThere are many perks that come with being active-duty military, among them free admission, complimentary services, and military discounts. These well-deserved forms of appreciation have been earned by the men and women currently in uniform. But a lot of Veterans will tell you, once that uniform comes off, these benefits are usually reserved for Veterans Day.

Army Veteran Jon Stites came to the same conclusion. After serving his country, Stites was working as a salesman. One night, he ventured onstage who had a good set on an open mic night in a comedy club. He caught the comedy bug, and left his sales job a few months later. As a comedian, Stites has headlined at clubs such as the Sacramento Punch Line and the Hollywood Improve. He has also done shows for the USO, National Lampoon, and the Bob and Tom Show.  Stites found that even the USO only provided free shows for active duty Military.Wanting to give back to the men and women who, like him, had served their country, Stites wanted to offer a perk to Veterans. It was for this reason that the former Infantryman founded Operation Comedy.

For the past 6 years, Operation Comedy has offered free entertainment to active service members and Veterans, with admission restricted to Veterans and service members and their guest. The Operation Comedy shows guarantee an evening of laughs, with a clear mission: “No rules. No regulations. No B.S. Just laughs.”

For the past two years, Stites has pulled from the extensive talent pool of comics in Southern California. He handpicks each comic for the Operation Comedy shows to ensure that the performers have been trained to kill and destroy- in comedic terms. In other words, Stites wants people on stage who will put on a good show for an audience of several hundred people with different backgrounds and cultures.

“When performing for Veterans you get all races, as well as the rich and the poor,” Stites told Military Connection. “You need comics with the same energy and diversity as the Veterans to put on a great show.”

The Army Veteran has done a commendable job putting together an all-star lineup for Operation Comedy’s next show on September 7, 2014 at the Laugh Factory in Long Beach. Joining Stites onstage will be Last Comic Standing winner Alonzo Bodden, Erik Griffin from the show “Workaholics,” and popular comedian Eric Rivera, who has been making the late-night circuit.

This will be Operation Comedy’s third show from the Laugh Factory in Long Beach. Seats are limited, and the last two events “sold out” quickly. Tickets for Service members, Veterans and one guest each are complimentary. There is a two item minimum purchase while at the club. The shows are only available for current and former members of the military. Book your tickets now at

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Military Connection: Operation Comedy for Veterans: By Joe Silva