You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Stephen Colbert Reflects on Iraq Visit at IAVA Heroes Gala

Stephen Colbert was deeply affected by the week he spent in Iraq in 2009 with his Comedy Central series “The Colbert Report.”

Colbert reflected on that experience on Thursday night when he and Willie Geist of NBC’s “Today” co-hosted the ninth annual Heroes gala fundraiser for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America service org. Colbert rushed to the event at Cipriani 42nd Street straight from taping Thursday’s edition of CBS’ “The Late Show.”

Colbert spoke of his respect and admiration for those who have served and the conditions they endure. Going to Iraq “was a moving experience for me,” he told the packed crowd. In classic Colbert form he added: “To this day, when I want to recapture that one week, I fill my mouth with sand and squat in a kiln.”

The gala’s honorees included former Army Sgt. Daniel Rodriguez and Polaris Industries CEO Scott Wine, who received the org’s Civilian Leadership Award. Colbert received the same kudo from IAVA in 2011.

The event began with a stirring rendition of the national anthem by J.W. Cortes, a former Marine who is now a regular on the Fox drama “Gotham.”

More Scene

  • 2017 Ripple of Hope Awards

    Why Alfre Woodard Thinks 'Everybody Gets Left Out' of Film Awards Race

    Stephen Colbert was deeply affected by the week he spent in Iraq in 2009 with his Comedy Central series “The Colbert Report.” Colbert reflected on that experience on Thursday night when he and Willie Geist of NBC’s “Today” co-hosted the ninth annual Heroes gala fundraiser for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America service org. […]

  • 'Father Figures' film premiere

    'Father Figures' Premiere Raises Funds for Southern California Wildfire Victims

    Stephen Colbert was deeply affected by the week he spent in Iraq in 2009 with his Comedy Central series “The Colbert Report.” Colbert reflected on that experience on Thursday night when he and Willie Geist of NBC’s “Today” co-hosted the ninth annual Heroes gala fundraiser for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America service org. […]

  • 'Grown-ish' TV show premiere

    A Meme Inspired 'Black-ish' Spinoff 'Grown-ish,' Creator Kenya Barris Says

    Stephen Colbert was deeply affected by the week he spent in Iraq in 2009 with his Comedy Central series “The Colbert Report.” Colbert reflected on that experience on Thursday night when he and Willie Geist of NBC’s “Today” co-hosted the ninth annual Heroes gala fundraiser for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America service org. […]

  • 'Bright' film premiere

    Will Smith Discusses 'Bright's' Racial, Social, Allegorical Undertones

    Stephen Colbert was deeply affected by the week he spent in Iraq in 2009 with his Comedy Central series “The Colbert Report.” Colbert reflected on that experience on Thursday night when he and Willie Geist of NBC’s “Today” co-hosted the ninth annual Heroes gala fundraiser for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America service org. […]

  • 'Pitch Perfect 3' film premiere

    Elizabeth Banks, Rebel Wilson Celebrate Women's Empowerment at 'Pitch Perfect 3' Premiere

    Stephen Colbert was deeply affected by the week he spent in Iraq in 2009 with his Comedy Central series “The Colbert Report.” Colbert reflected on that experience on Thursday night when he and Willie Geist of NBC’s “Today” co-hosted the ninth annual Heroes gala fundraiser for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America service org. […]

  • Holiday Soul Party

    Lena Waithe on Inclusive Storytelling: 'There's Still a Long Way to Go'

    Stephen Colbert was deeply affected by the week he spent in Iraq in 2009 with his Comedy Central series “The Colbert Report.” Colbert reflected on that experience on Thursday night when he and Willie Geist of NBC’s “Today” co-hosted the ninth annual Heroes gala fundraiser for the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America service org. […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content