New London Submarine Base personnel participated in a required comedy event not just for laughs, but to receive a valuable lesson in preventing alcohol and drug abuse, June 8.
CMDCM(SS) Wesley Koshoffer, Commander, Submarine Group Two Command Master Chief, and CSSC (SS/SW) Chad White, were instrumental in bringing comedian Bernie McGrenahan to the base so he could parlay the lessons he’s learned in his lifetime.
The “Comedy with a Cure” event is Bernie McGrenahan’s comedy with a message tour geared toward educating service members about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse, as well as suicide prevention and the trouble it caused throughout his career and life.
“It’s comedy with a prevention message,” said McGrenahan, who has been educating service members and college students over the past 15 years. He has visited more than 1,000 bases since he started educating about the dangers associated with all forms of substance abuse.
During his two presentations at the Subase, McGrenahan provided insight to the experiences while driving on the rough road of life and how lessons, some tragic, steered him in the direction to a better, happier life.
“It’s critical to provide valuable insight to Sailors about the signs of a drinking problem, inspiring them to not ‘deny’ the possibility of a drinking problem if these patterns and behaviors are happening in their lives,” said McGrenahan.
McGrenahan described how at the age of 14 he started drinking and over the years it progressed to a battle with alcohol addition. At the age of 25 and with three driving while intoxicated violations under his belt, McGrenahan was sentenced to six months in jail.
“This year marks 23 years without a drink,” said McGrenahan who advised the Sailors to follow his advice and steer away from the path he was driving on more than two decades earlier.
McGrenahan’s scheduled tour comes at a poignant time during the 101 Critical Days of Summer campaign spearheaded by the Naval Safety Center. This campaign, which runs until Labor Day, helps raise awareness about the possible mishaps that can happen to off-duty service members during the summer months.
“We honestly care about your quality of life, that is why these types of events are so important,” said Koshoffer. “This event ties with the steady stream of information about our current alcohol and drug abuse prevention efforts.”