Changing Combat Veterans’ Lives, With Humorous YouTube Videos

If you’ve not heard of Drew Hernandez, let’s fix that now. Here he is on video…

Hernandez has created a series of videos under the brand “A Combat Veteran,” seeking to use humor to help ease the pain of those military heroes struggling to return to civilian life.

He may now be out of the service, but “A Combat Veteran” Drew Hernandez hasn’t let that stop him from being of service to others, particularly to his brothers-in-arms. Drew gave IJ some insight into why he does what he does and where he’s going from here.

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A former reservist and active duty serviceman who spent time in Iraq, Drew creates and posts satirical videos about military life to both YouTubeand Facebook.

On Veterans Impact, Drew shared a story about a military wife crediting his videos with helping to give her back the man she married after he had attempted suicide. The humor, the outreach — they are making a powerful difference in the veterans community.

Drew makes his target audience, combat veterans, laugh, but it is about a lot more than that for him, personally.

If he could relay one message to them it would be:

“Support one another, stay connected and communicate. […] It’s important that we protect each other because this administration won’t. #thanksobama”

But Drew’s audience isn’t only made up of combat veterans. Civilians are finding and enjoying his work, too. This puts him in the position of being able to clear up some misunderstandings civilians have about combat veterans, such as:

“That we’re dangerous. We go to war and come back crazy. We fight. We drink. We’re trouble. But if there’s something you should take away from my videos, [it] is that we stick together, always. The support is real and the bond is strong.”

Vets can suffer from the effects of war, but the rest of us owe them the opportunity to fit in and take their place with the rest of us in society without dwelling on their issues as some sort of handicap or items of suspicion (the way Vietnam veterans were often treated). Humor is a powerful social lubricant, one that Hernandez is using to do a great service to his fellow veterans and the rest of us alike.

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