Kix Brooks asked me to travel with him to Afghanistan to perform on a USO Christmas tour. Robin Williams was on the bill along with Lance Armstrong, Kathleen Madigan and Louis Black. Our little variety show played for audiences as large as several thousand enlisted men and women at the big bases and as small as thirty five hard, dirty Marines at a Forward Operating Base out in the middle of the suck. Robin was always the closer and he always leveled the place.
One morning in Bahrain I came down to breakfast And saw Robin sitting by himself writing in a small blue spiral note book. He invited me over to sit down with him and hang. After black coffee and small talk about the previous nights show I asked him what he was writing. He told me he was writing notes for last nights performance. What he did right, what he could do better. Humble greatness.
Our last stop on the tour was a hospital in Germany where wounded soldiers were taken once they had been stabilized on the battlefield. What I saw I will never forget. Multiple amputations. Disfigured faces. Wrecked bodies. Grievous wounds suffered by men so very young.
Kix reminded me today that Robin jumped in and carried us all. He brought laughter and lightness and a moment of grace to those broken heroes. They called him Mork, Mrs. Doubtfire. Robin amongst them, one hilarious lightning line following another. One of the youngest wounded guys said: “I don’t know who you are man but you are one funny mother fucker!”
I will never forget you my friend.