LAUGHTER AND MEMORY
Robin Williams had his demons but it never stopped him from making troops laugh on the numerous standup tours he did in Iraq and Afghanistan.
At the prefab dorms on the American base in Kandahar, I ran into my neighbor from the bunk next door. The military makes few concessions to visiting VIPs. Robin Williams was on his way to the showers down the hall, wearing a white t-shirt and a towel over his shoulder. It was the week before Christmas, in 2010.
He was happy to talk. He said he did regular gigs on the USO holiday circuit. This wasn't his first time in Afghanistan, and he'd also played Iraq. On this trip, he brought along his friend, Lance Armstrong. The cyclist had turned the heads of the women in the dorm on his way back from the showers, wearing just a towel. He struck many people there, at the time, not in retrospect, as arrogant and cold. Robin Williams was something else.