The best medicine for healing veterans

Three veterans and a military spouse walk into a podcast recording. No joke! This week’s Tango Alpha Lima podcast episode features retired Army Lt. Col. Robin Phoenix Johnson and Doug Bennett, a Marine Corps veteran.

Johnson, who founded Best Medicine Brigade and the HEAL*ARIOUS nonprofit organization, crafted a mission to heal people, organizations and communities through humor. She created Best Medicine Brigade to give veteran and military spouse comedians performance opportunities.

Her passion is the applied and therapeutic use of humor for mental health, which is why she facilitates HEAL*ARIOUS, a humor therapy program for veterans. 

Johnson, a member of American Legion Post 166 in Goose Creek, S.C., is set to launch the HEAL*ARIOUS’ national tour on April 1 (no foolin’) in Columbus, Ohio, and conclude at podcast co-host Jeff Daly’s American Legion Post 43 theater in Hollywood, Calif.

The 10-city tour sets out to find the “America’s funniest veterans and military spouses.”

Calling it a “passion project,” Johnson explained how the concept began.

“I realized how comedy was so healing for mental health and for psychological performance improvement, and saw that it was working,” she said, noting the Legion is sponsoring the tour. “And because The American Legion is very passionate and active in suicide prevention reduction, it really aligned.”

Podcast co-host Ashley Gutermuth will be the headliner for the Columbus show. Learn more about the show and others at this web page.

Bennett, who lives in Alexandria, Va., is a stand-up comedian, actor and radio host specializing in speaking a “perspective” with a universal face.

You don’t want to miss his explanation for how he found comedy. Sheep were involved, and we’ll leave it at that.

In fact, we won’t spoil this rollicking episode for you. Check it out for yourself and get ready for some military and veteran frivolity.

The episode, which is among more than 170 Tango Alpha Lima podcasts, is now available in both audio and video formats here. You can also download episodes on iTunes, Google Play or other major podcast-hosting sites. The video version is available at the Legion’s YouTube channel.