"Comedy Warriors," one of the most meaningful movies in this year’s San Antonio Film Festival, presents the stories of our nation’s war heroes in a comedy, a method that has been the key to healing for more than one wounded warrior.
After his experiences in Iraq, narrow grocery-store aisles cause Bobby Henline to freeze up. He can’t think and he starts looking for a way out, but the former 82nd Airborne soldier has no trouble on a wide-open stage telling humorous stories to audiences.
"We all heal with comedy, we use it for healing, no matter what's going on in our lives, whether it's work, family, you know laughter really does help us heal," Henline said. "It's the best medicine, and that's how I dealt with everything in the hospital. And that's why my occupational therapist talked me into doing comedy."
Henline was wounded by a roadside bomb near Baghdad in 2007, which burned over 38 percent of his body, he also lost an arm and the ability to close his left eye.
After a pinky swear that he would pursue comedy, Henline starting working the crowds. Then he heard about a talent scout in L.A. who wanted to give something back to wounded warriors and sent out a call for tapes from comedians who had earned their stripes.
"All men and women in the military that were wounded that might want to use comedy, or thought they wanted to be a comedian or use it to heal, whatever, you know, have success with comedy, or try it and learn it," Henline said.
All of the movie’s subjects have been through Iraq or Afghanistan fighting, with injuries ranging from severe burns to multiple amputations.
Five comedians are featured in the film "Comedy Warriors," which shows Saturday at the Palladium, where Henline will be a special guest.
- See a full schedule for the film festival at: safilm.com/2013-schedule