NEW YORK (AP) – Long before Bruce Springsteen took the stage at the annual Stand Up for Heroes Benefit Party in New York City, Bob and Lee Woodruff joked about how they make the Boss perform so frequently.
“Sometimes I’ve done things I’m not proud of,” Lee Woodruff joked.
“Wait a minute, what is this?” Bob asked, laughing.
“I’ll tell you later,” Lee retorted.
In the 15 years that the event has taken place, Springsteen has only missed it once, in 2017 when he was performing his show on Broadway.
“We don’t have to ask him. It comes to us, ”said Bob Woodruff of the event that raises funds to help injured veterans and their families. This year’s event at Lincoln Center raised $ 4.6 million.
The Bob Woodruff Foundation was established by ABC journalist, 60, after being seriously injured by an improvised explosive device while covering the Iraq war in 2006.
Monday’s show also featured Jon Stewart, Brandi Carlisle, Grace Gaustad and the band Sing Harlem. Comedians Jim Gaffigan, Nate Bargatze and Donnell Rawlings also performed. The organization raised funds through tickets and an auction and is part of the New York Comedy Festival.
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Nikki Glaser, who was also on the lineup, said she was honored to support the charity, but worried her sharp, aggressive humor might not always be appropriate.
“There’s a part of me that doesn’t want people to feel uncomfortable with some kind of material. But at the same time, I tell myself that they don’t need me to be gentle or hold back, ”she said. “So I’m having a hard time with that.”
New York Governor Kathy Hochul was in attendance and said she was determined to ensure that returning servicemen do not fall through the cracks of society. “They may not realize that they are suffering from PTSD. They may not realize that they have emotional and psychological wounds that they are almost embarrassed to talk about. We need to make sure we remove the stigma and make services such as telehealth available, ”Hochul said.
Current and former servicemen were present, including five members of the Marine Company involved in the ambush in Kabul that killed 13 US servicemen during the withdrawal from Afghanistan in August.
Bob Woodruff’s own injuries covering the Iraq war have bonded with injured members of the military, including one of the evening’s winners, the former Master Sgt. Brad Lang.
Lang lost his legs in 2011 after an IED explosion and spent nine months recovering at Walter Reed Military Medical Center in Washington, DC. He sees Woodruff as someone who does more than run a foundation, but as someone who understands the plight of wounded veterans.
“I think that’s great. He’s someone who can relate to us like we can relate to him. And I think that’s an intimacy that you don’t share with a lot of other organizations.” , Lang said.
And who was he most excited to watch play? “Bruce Springsteen, of course. I mean, come on, ”Lang said.
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