On this Veterans Day, a group who served their country is standing up to help fellow service members. Their method may not be anything you'd expect, but it's powerful nonetheless.

The 22 Tour poster at Zanies - 11/12/18

The 22 Tour stop in Nashville is Monday at Zanies Comedy Club. (WSMV)

"I did a tour of Iraq in 2007, and I was in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait before that," said Lt. Col. Jim Seward.

Seward has 22 years of memories of the Air Force and the people he loved to make laugh.

"The best thing about the military is the people you serve with," he said. "Sometimes you gotta let the humor fly."

It was bringing the laughs in his service that led Seward to the mic and to the stage. He's now a stand-up comedian.

"I turned to my wife and said, 'I don't want to have a regular job in retirement,' and she didn't divorce me," laughed Seward. "I had a wife who said, 'go live your dream. Money isn't as important as doing what you love.' I got a good one."

Even after years of big laughs, no day in comedy has felt more important to Seward than Monday.

At 7 Monday night at Zanies, Seward's part of a comedy show with other stand-ups who are also veterans. It's part of a tour raising money for Stop Soldier Suicide, a nonprofit giving resources to people in all branches of the military and veterans. The series of shows is called The 22 Tour.

"We would respond to a lot of suicide attempts," remembered Seward, thinking back to his time of service. "You always wondered if they had family and people who loved them. You always wondered, 'what could I have done to help prevent that?'"

Monday, Seward said he has the perfect chance to do what he loves for the people he loves.

"People don't always show the symptoms," he said. "People think it's a weakness to ask for help, but it's not. It can be a little overwhelming if you do it by yourself. It's a healing-type thing. If one person gets help from money we raised, that would be worth it. That's what it's about, helping each other out."

For more on Stop Soldier Suicide.

Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


Forrest Sanders is an award-winning reporter, videographer and editor at News4.

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