Jon Stewart, a well-known American actor and comedian, created a program that helps United States veterans start their careers in the entertainment industry called the Veterans Immersion Program.
This article will explain how this program was started and the impact it’s made in the lives of veterans interested in show business.
History of the Program
The Veteran Immersion Program began in 2013 when Jon Stewart was asked to introduce one veteran to the entertainment industry. Jon got the idea to expand this simple favor and built an entire five weeklong program designed to help veterans gain experience with producing, performing and booking talent.
Veterans are invited to work on The Daily Show — a late-night talk show on Comedy Central that gives political satire/self-described “fake news” — in New York City.
Stewart has enjoyed working with the veterans from the program and even described them as “way less whiny” when compared to other new hires.
Program Success Stories
Nathan Witmer served for four years on active duty in the United States Army but was always interested in making movies. He was accepted into the Veterans Immersion Program and eventually hired as a Segment Producer of The Daily Show. He said in an interview with the New York Times: “It was actually inspirational. We hear ‘Thank you for your service’ all the time, but here was concrete action, people working to really make a difference. And it changed lives. I’m proof of that.”
Justine Elena served in the Marine Corps as a Public Affairs Officer from 2007 until 2011. She was accepted into the Veterans Immersion Program and is now the Audience Supervisor at The Daily Show. She said in an interview with Know Your Value: “People ask, ‘Oh can women really be funny?’ It’s just like when people ask, ‘Do women really have what it takes to be in the military?’ And the answer is yes and the second part of that is it shouldn’t matter.”
Jon Stewart recognizes the value the Veterans Immersion Program has added to The Daily Show and to the careers of many veterans that were looking for a way to start their careers in entertainment. He now encourages other corporations to create similar programs. “This is ready to franchise. Please steal our idea” said Jon in an interview.
Our team at US Patriot Tactical personally knows the sacrifices veterans make and are thrilled programs like this exist to help veterans accomplish their dreams as civilians.