He may be known as a political wisecracker, but The Daily Show host Jon Stewart also has a serious side, which surfaced recently when he spent a weekend in Kandahar, Afghanistan, visiting deployed troops.
He was joined by former basketball star Karl Malone and illusionist David Blaine on Admiral Mike Mullen’s tenth and final USO tour as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Stewart spoke about the experience on The Daily Show last week. “It was an incredible weekend … I can’t really put it into words. People can disagree about strategies and (politics), foreign policy and things of that nature, but hopefully we can all agree that the men and women of our armed services are giving so much to our country….What a great opportunity that they allowed me to go with them. They’re great people at the USO and it was a wonderful opportunity.”
Stewart spent several minutes on last Monday’s show thanking individuals he met in Kandahar and modeling the t-shirts that he received on the trip.
He wasn’t the only one who was moved by the experience. Malone and Blaine both released statements expressing the impact that the trip had on them, and Admiral Mullen was quoted as saying, “My last year leading USO tours as Chairman of the Joints Chief of Staff has been one of the highlights of my career. There is nothing that has brought me more happiness than seeing the faces of so many troops light up after meeting their favorite stars on their turf, or for that matter, witnessing so many stars humbled and forever changed by their experience overseas.”