Sunday, January 25, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Williams remembered fondly by military

By
From page A1 | August 13, 2014 |

NEW YORK — Robin Williams was a superstar in movies, on television and at comedy clubs.

But some of his biggest laughs came at military bases.

Elizabeth O’Herrin of the Wisconsin Air National Guard remembers working the night shift in the city of Doha in Qatar, delivering munitions to American fighter jets.

It was 2004, the holiday season, and Herrin and friends camped out at the Al Udeid Air Base. A USO show was arriving, Williams was a featured performer and O’Herrin wanted front row seats.

“He had everybody roaring. It felt really good; it was the first time in a while we had had a chance to laugh,” says O’Herrin, 30, now a resident of Chicago.

Members of the armed forces have long held special affection for Williams, who died Monday at age 63 after he hanged himself in his San Francisco Bay Area home. Williams never served in the military, but he was a tireless participant in USO shows and also was remembered for playing real-life Air Force sergeant and disc jockey Adrian Cronauer in the 1987 film “Good Morning, Vietnam.”

O’Herrin, discharged honorably as a staff sergeant in 2008, said that Williams was “sweating profusely,” but never seemed to tire.

“I remember some of the jokes being borderline inappropriate, but we got the chance to cut loose a little bit and roll with it. Afterward, I got to meet him. I took a picture with him and shook his hand. He engaged with all the troops, gave them big hugs and big handshakes.”

“He shook every hand, signed every autograph, and hugged every person,” the USO said in a statement Tuesday. “He understood the energizing effect laughter has in times of stress and he channeled his incredible energy to help those experiencing the loneliness, fear and uncertainty of being far from home and loved ones the chance to relax and recharge.”

Videos of Williams’ USO performances proliferated online after his death was reported, along with numerous tributes from veterans, including some who on the USO Facebook page posted selfies they had taken with Williams. Sales for the “Good Morning Vietnam” DVD jumped on Amazon.com, and the video was out of stock as of midday Tuesday.

According to the USO, Williams began working with the organization in 2002 and was part of six USO tours, most recently in 2010. He performed in 13 countries, including Afghanistan, Kuwait and Turkey, and entertained more than 89,000 servicemen and women.

His shows were not for general audiences.

“Good morning, Afghanistan!” he called out in 2002 at the Bagram Air Base.

“I had a lovely military flight, thank you,” Williams continued. “I love spiraling in — nothing like that to make your colon go, ‘Fire in the hole!’ ”

“I remember we talked how much the shows meant to us, and how much fun they were and how gratifying,” said Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota, a former USO entertainer (his tour schedule was roughly two weeks behind Williams’) and a friend of Williams, dating back to his years as a writer for “Saturday Night Live.”

John Hanson, a senior vice president at the USO, was a press liaison in 2007 when Williams returned to Afghanistan. He remembered waiting with Williams on a plane in Kabul when they were greeted by a soldier who was moving equipment.

“He talked to Robin and thanked him for coming. The soldier hadn’t come out to the show, so he paused for a moment, pulled off the Saint Christopher medal he had around his neck, gave it to Robin and said, ‘This has protected me through three missions, so now I’m giving it to you,’ ” Hanson said.

“And Robin sat there looking at it. And he took a large silver cross from around his neck and handed it to the soldier. It meant the world to the both of them.”

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

    Solano GOP welcomes address from King niece

    By Bill Hicks | From Page: A1, 4 Comments | Gallery

     
    Nursing students take next step in higher education

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1 | Gallery

    Friend seeks justice for 1982 Vacaville homicide victim

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 12 Comments | Gallery

     
     
    Wine, chocolate pairing comes to downtown Benicia

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

    Local gas prices dip below $2 a gallon

    By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Biggest Little Car Show returns for 31st year

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Solano Safety Net Summit set in Fairfield downtown

    By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3

     
    Be heart smart all year long

    By Gerald Bourne, MD | From Page: C4

    Kindergarten Readiness Roundup enlightens parents

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Weather for Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

    Crews respond to residential fire

    By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    CHP seeks witnesses to I-80 crash

    By Bill Hicks | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    City seeks input on downtown plan

    By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas | From Page: B7, 2 Comments

    Fairfield police log: Jan. 23, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

     
    Suisun City police log: Jan. 23, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

    Privatized housing tenants to feel BAH pinch

    By Tom Philpott | From Page: B10

     
    Suisun City police log: Jan. 22, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A10

    Airman with Fairfield tie completes training

    By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B10

     
    .

    US / World

    Abe ‘speechless’ after video claims IS hostage dead

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    It’s a hoot hanging out with owls at this Tokyo cafe

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C2 | Gallery

    Abortion opponents express renewed hope at SF rally

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    School: Sea otter conceived in wild is 1st born in captivity

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Man searching by plane finds body of missing son off Mexico

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Kia recalling nearly 87,000 Fortes because of fire risk

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Elon Musk’s SpaceX drops lawsuit against Air Force

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    California’s public-worker payroll increased post-recession

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Avian flu confirmed in commercial turkey flock in California

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Boy, 13, arrested in fatal stabbing near Los Angeles school

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Company seeks rights to names of iconic Grand Canyon lodges

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

    GOP presses state bills limiting gay rights before ruling

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    1st attempt to lift fuselage of crashed AirAsia plane fails

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

    Tens of thousands protest after president resigns in Yemen

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Thousands march against socialist president in Venezuela

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

    Expert says King Tut mask can be restored after epoxy used

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Obama to cut short India trip to pay call on Saudi Arabia

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

    Rockets kill 30 in Ukrainian city as rebels launch offensive

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

     
    .

    Opinion

     
    Plea for return of stolen statue

    By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

     
    Not all police are bad

    By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 8 Comments

    Editorial Cartoon: Jan. 25, 2015

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

     
    Sound off for Jan. 25, 2015

    By Daily Republic | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

     
    .

    Living

    Today in History: Jan. 25, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Community Calendar: Jan. 25, 2015

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

    The gift of a new beginning

    By Dalia Adams | From Page: C3, 1 Comment

     
    Mennonite group to build houses in tornado-damaged town

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

    Yearbooks bring Jewish, Catholic groups together

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

     
    Horoscope Jan. 25, 2015

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

    My dad can’t get over the bad first impression of my boyfriend

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

     
    .

    Entertainment

    Mariel Hemingway working on memoir and young adult novel

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

     
    Jonathan Franzen to appear at BookExpo America

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

    PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

    By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

     
    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

    .

    Sports

    25 years of trying to get it right

    By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1, 3 Comments | Gallery

     
    Sharapova, Bouchard into quarterfinals at Australian Open

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    2 Williams sisters, 2 Madisons into 4th round at Aussie Open

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Hall of Famer Ernie Banks mourned in sports world and beyond

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Thompson’s record 3rd quarter leads Warriors past Kings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Belichick on deflated balls: ‘We try to do everything right’

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1, 4 Comments | Gallery

    Carroll, Belichick excelled after failing the first time

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Luck-led Team Carter vs. Romo-lead Team Irvin in Pro Bowl

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    AP Explains: The Pro Bowl, unlike any other All-Star game

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Abdullah leads North to 34-13 win over South in Senior Bowl

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    As Brady, Gronk know, pre-Super Bowl injury talk always big

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    AP Interview: Selig says MLB could expand internationally

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Could Super Bowl be Lynch’s finale in Seattle?

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Sherman, Seahawks take the trash-talk lead over Patriots

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki’s surgically repaired hip on mend

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Buckeyes celebrate their title at Ohio Stadium

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Jimenez, Mediate share lead in Champions Tour opener

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Grace wins Qatar Masters by 1 stroke

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Matt Kuchar stumbles in, gives away Humana Challenge lead

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    For streaking Atlanta Hawks, it’s all about the balance

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Upstart wins $400,000 Holy Bull at Gulfstream

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Mischief Clem wins California Cup Derby in photo finish

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    World Cup of Hockey tournament set for 2016

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Hometown report: Bowling

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B3

    Ashley Wagner wins 3rd US title with record-setting scores

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Weber’s 108.5-mph blast gives him hardest shot at NHL skills

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Sports on TV for Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015

    By Paul Farmer | From Page: B5

     
    This date in sports history for Jan. 25, 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

    .

    Business

    Anheuser-Busch to buy craft beer company

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    Booking a trip to the ER on your smartphone? It’s a breeze

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

    Higher standard deduction, other breaks for older taxpayers

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

     
    Tiny Cokes: Less guilt means more money for makers

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    Recalls this week: cleaners, fitness machines

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    First Look: Apple’s HomeKit could help smarten up your home

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

    .

    Obituaries

    Sheila Margery (Smith) Luxenberg

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics