Dec. 17, 2004 9:45 a.m.
Al Asad Air Base

Got a good look at Robin Williams. He came over here for a USO tour. He ate in the dining hall and was surrounded by Marines. His table was across from mine. He had the four Marines he was eating with laughing. Other Marines would come up behind him to talk or shake his hand. When someone wanted a photo with him he would jump up from the table, put his arm around
them and pose. He came over to our table for no reason and shook our hands.

You hear a lot about celebrities complaining about their privacy. This guy flew to Iraq on a C-130 and came to give, and the whole time here he gave. The theater was standing room only. The officers did not go so the lower ranking marines could get it.

He did one bit about the Crocodile Hunter looking for Usama. He also joked about the shortage of armored vehicles. He did an impression of a man from Tennessee offering to solve the problem. "I'll build you a truck," he said.

It was a strange thing to be sitting there in a darkened theater and hear Marines crack up with laughter for more than an hour. It was like everyone forgot everything for a little while.

Later that night I was walking to chow. In the dark, two Marines passed me on bicycles. As they rode by I heard the guy in back retelling one of the jokes to the guy in front.

E-mail Steve

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Steve Harrigan currently serves as a Miami-based correspondent for Fox News Channel (FNC). He joined the network in 2001 as a Moscow-based correspondent.