×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Rob Riggle on Work With Veterans at Variety, National Geographic’s Salute to Service: ‘It’s Who I Am’

On Thursday at New York’s Cipriani 25 Broadway, Variety and National Geographic teamed up for their inaugural Salute to Service event, which celebrated the contributions the United States military has made to the entertainment industry and society as a whole.

One of the honorees, retired United States Marine Corps Reserve officer and actor Rob Riggle, told Variety, “I’m honored that they thought of me.” His contributions include his charity golf tournament and work with veterans organizations such as Team Rubicon, We Are the Mighty, and Got Your 6, among others. “It’s who I am, and a passion that I have. It’s something I’m going to continue doing, regardless of who’s watching.”

Riggle studied acting and comedy in college and in New York while on active duty. He’s known for his work in comedic films like “The Hangover” and “Step Brothers,” though he will soon be taking a dramatic turn in the upcoming Jerry Bruckheimer-produced military drama “12 Strong.” When asked if his military training prepared him for a career as an actor, he pointed to the “intangibles” he picked up in his training, such as “a thick skin, a can-do attitude, and getting knocked down and getting back up again,” he said. “You learn those in the Marine Corps.”

The event’s honorees included Caroline Hirsch (co-founder of Stand Up for Heroes and a board member of the Bob Woodruff Foundation), Martha Raddatz (ABC News chief global affairs correspondent, co-anchor of “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” and author of “The Long Road Home: A Story of War and Family”), Mikal Vega (retired Naval Special Warfare Operator and technical director on NBC’s “The Brave”), and Wes Moore (Army Combat Veteran, chief executive officer of the anti-poverty organization Robin Hood and author of “The Other Wes Moore” and “The Work”). Moore told Variety that “I’m thankful that Variety and National Geographic have taken the lead, not just to remind people of the service of our men and women,” he said, “but also the fact that there is still so much to contribute. The service doesn’t end just because we take the uniform off.”

Actor Michael Kelly, whose father was a Marine, worked with several veteran advisers on the television adaptation of “The Long Road Home” that aired on the National Geographic channel and said their cause has become close to his heart. “One of the biggest problems in this country is what we do with veterans when they come home,” he said. “You can’t help but meet these guys and hear how they are treated when they come home, and hear the unacceptable suicide rate of veterans.

“When they come home, how do they readjust to society? How do you go from 1000 miles an hour to 0 miles an hour?” he continued. “Not just finding a job, but how do you adjust that mentality? How do we help these people readjust to society? It makes doing these things a lot easier.”

More Scene

  • Director Peter JacksonWarner Bros. Pictures THEY

    Peter Jackson Talks Transition From 'Hobbit' Movies to World War I Documentary

    Peter Jackson remains a bit astounded at his transition four years ago from the Shire of Middle Earth to the French battlefields of World War I. Jackson introduced his documentary “They Shall Not Grow Old” Friday night at the Linwood Dunn Theatre in Hollywood, four weeks after it aired on Armistice Day on the BBC. [...]

  • Hillary Clinton'Network' play opening night, New

    Hillary Clinton Attends Opening of Broadway's 'Network'

    A 1976 film might not be expected to translate seamlessly to Broadway in 2018, but for the cast and creative team behind “Network,” which premiered Thursday night with Hillary Clinton in the audience, the story still feels uncomfortably close to home. “It was a satire then, and now it’s documentary realism,” said Lee Hall, who [...]

  • Children's Defense Fund

    Angela Bassett, Conan O'Brien Honor Young Students at Children's Defense Fund Gala

    Awards season may be right around the corner, but on Thursday, Hollywood took a break from the glitz and glam to celebrate five high school students who have excelled academically despite facing extreme adversity both at home and in the classroom. The 29th annual Beat the Odds Awards ceremony at the Skirball Cultural Center featured [...]

  • Dolly Parton attends the world premiere

    Dolly Parton Hopes to Perform 'Dumplin'' Song at the Golden Globes

    It’s not easy to upstage Jennifer Aniston. But everyone at Thursday night’s premiere of her new Netflix flick, “Dumplin’,” seemed to be singing the praises of Dolly Parton, who earlier in the day received a Golden Globe nomination for “Girl in the Movies,” one of half a dozen new songs she wrote for the film. [...]

  • Lena WaitheVariety's Power of Women, Arrivals,

    Who Lena Waithe Thinks Should Replace Kevin Hart as Oscar Host

    Lena Waithe thinks Kevin Hart could have handled his Oscar debacle in a much better way. “I kind of wish that he would have taken a moment to let it be a teachable moment and to say, ‘Hey, what I said wasn’t right and I want to make that right,’ not just to keep the [...]

  • Christie Brinkley32nd Annual Footwear News Achievement

    Christie Brinkley at 64: 'Women My Age Cannot Allow the Numbers to Define Them'

    Christie Brinkley may be turning 65 next year, but don’t you dare try to tell her what she should — or shouldn’t — wear. “I think women my age cannot allow the numbers to define them. We need to constantly redefine the number,” Brinkley told Variety on Tuesday at the Footwear News Achievement Awards in New [...]

  • Gerard Butler, Haim Saban and Cheryl

    Why Haim and Cheryl Saban's $50 Million Donation to Academy Museum Almost Didn't Happen

    Haim and Cheryl Saban’s $50 million donation has landed them their name on the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures building on Miracle Mile in Los Angeles, but the billionaire philanthropists’ contribution to the project almost didn’t happen. During Tuesday’s unveiling of the restored exterior of the new Saban Building (formerly the historic May Company department [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content