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Photo by Brad Howard

Getting out of the military is like being born again, except this time you’re not a baby. You’ve got money, and skills, and muscles. The world is your oyster! Maybe you plan on using your newfound freedom to write the great American novel, or summit Mount Kilimanjaro, or learn Spanish. But first, you need to have some fun. You’ve earned it.

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Photo by Mahnaz Rezai

On Nov. 14 in the crowded and dimly lit Dog Tag Bakery in Washington, D.C., Marine veteran Michael Garvey calmly took the stage with his service dog, a Black Labrador named Liberty, and launched into a routine about post-traumatic stress disorder.

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Courtesy photo.

Nearly two years ago, on a Friday evening in September 2013, I trudged home from work, clambered up the four floors to my apartment, and cantankerously flipped open my laptop. By the following Monday, I had three empty bottles of scotch and the first draft of a comedy pilot with the ever so pun-tastic title of "Vetted." It was a frustration-fueled introduction to the funny, weird, aggravating, and occasionally shocking side of being a veteran. After a lot of further frustration, hard work, and help, the finished, filmed pilot premiered this past March at the Tribeca Cinemas in New York to a full house. Since then, I’ve been working on getting my show to the next step any way I can, from pitching it to networks to trying to get a second episode funded through Kickstarter.

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