Thom Tran - SSG - US Army

Thom Tran
SSG – US Army

In 2003, Thom was awarded the Purple Heart after being wounded in combat during a firefight in Iraq. Then in 2005 he retired from the Army because of those wounds. Comedy became his therapy after combat, and his goal was to bring that therapy to soldiers who are still deployed. In 2008, Thom toured overseas for 2 weeks performing to troops all over Iraq and Kuwait, and in 2009 was named the USO’s “Funniest Service Member” at a benefit for the Bob Hope USO at LAX.

Thom’s performed all over the United States, now calling Los Angeles his home and can usually be found on stage at the famed Hollywood Improv, the World Famous Comedy Store, and clubs all over LA when he’s not on tour throughout the country.

Thom created the GIs of Comedy hoping to bring the therapy of laughter to troops still serving in combat zones.

Jose Sarduy MAJ - USAF

Jose Sarduy

Jose Sarduy splits up his time between flying to gigs all over the country, and flying planes for the Air Force. Still an active member of the United States Air Force Reserve, he’s an accomplished aviator and veteran of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.Gathering material from a wealth of life experiences, Jose takes audiences on the rollercoaster ride that’s been his life. From his mother’s ability to kill a chicken with her bare hands, to his Dad’s ability to hit on any woman, anytime, there was never a dull moment.

He’s been featured in the Air Force Times, was selected for as a finalist in the Seattle Comedy Competition in 2009, and the Lucky 21. His comedy career started out in New York and Philadelphia, getting on stage anytime he wasn’t serving. He performs all over the country now and is rapidly becoming an audience favorite for his ability to make deportation, and life threatening moments hysterical!

Key Lewis - US Navy

Key Lewis
US Navy

Sacramento California born Key Lewis is a high energy, improvisational, storytelling, multiple-personality nutcase! His love for the people and hunger for the stage is his undying motivation. His comedic stories about his interracial childhood, family, and unusual views on relationships, make Key simply a joy to watch. His ability to improvise and interact with all types of crowds makes this up and coming comic and actor one to look out for.

Key served in the US Navy on the USS Arctic AOE-8, based out of San Diego, and after leaving the Navy, now serves with the GIs of Comedy stand up comedy troupe bringing laughter to service members stationed all over the world. Last year Key performed with the GIs of Comedy in Italy, Egypt, and Jordan as part of their international tour.

Key Lewis has appeared on Marlon Wayans TBS’s Funniest Wins, Starz Networks StaannDup, Kevin Harts One Mic Stand as well as Bill Bellamy’s Who’s Got Jokes! Key says, chase your dream, always know your audience; don’t act funny, be funny; don’t be a jerk; don’t worry about the quantity of your material but the quality; the sooner you create a relationship with your crowd, the better you will be.
Tom Irwin PFC - US Army

Tom Irwin
PFC – US Army

Tom Irwin spent his time in uniform with the US Army’s 5th Engineers, and now builds his career as a standup comedian in Los Angeles, and touring all over the world.

Tom was an invited guest performer at the White House (yes, THAT White House), as well as being a mainstay at Hollywood’s most famous comedy clubs including the Laugh Factory, and the Ice House.

Although Tom served in the Army during peacetime, his FOUR tours to Iraq to perform for our servicemembers shows his continued dedication to those who continue to serve in the Armed Forces.

Tom also turned one of his nearly month long tours in Iraq into a riveting one man show called “25 Days In Iraq”, which he took throughout the country performing to both civilian and military audiences.

Tom Irwin’s comedy has been featured on National Public Radio’s “Talk of the Nation” and “This American Life”.

Eljaye Montenego - SGT - US Air Force

Eljaye Montenego
SGT – US Air Force

Eljaye is one of the newest members of the GIs of Comedy and a welcome addition to the troupe. He’s a Veteran of the United States Air Force, and while serving in Korea, he won the John Levitow Award, the highest honor presented to a graduate of Air Force Enlisted Professional Military Education (PME), including Airman Leadership School, NCO Academy, and the Senior NCO Academy.

After leaving the Air Force Eljaye began competitively competing as a body builder. He was named Mr. Chicago (Gateway Classic), Mr. Illinois, and a second place finish in the Mr. Universe Body Building Competition. 
He’s since retired from this “Profession” feeling that it’s much easier to be in front of a room full of people fully clothed speaking into a microphone, than to be in front of them in a pair of Speedos…..or so he thought.

He uses his low key style to neutralize his appearance…..he’s a chiseled, slabbed, muscle of a man complete with tattoos. But his hard exterior has a soft, creamy middle. He truly is the Yin and Yang of Comedy, and the opposite of Thom Tran’s scrawny, wirey exterior and hardcore NCO inside.
PJ Walsh PO2 - US Navy

PJ Walsh
PO2 – US Navy

PJ Walsh is known as one of the hardest working comedians behind the microphone, and for good reason. His boundless energy and the strength of his physical comedy have carried him around the globe touring with the stars of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour and found him performing on celebrated stages including Radio City Music Hall, Universal Amphitheater and the Ryman Auditorium with legends such as Bill Engvall, Larry the Cable Guy, Ron White, and Jeff Foxworthy.

A successful show on Sirius Satellite radio & a role in the Lionsgate feature film “Delta Farce” followed.A veteran of the U.S. Navy, PJ served as a combat medic attached to the United States Marine Corp and later worked as THE dentist to the First and Second Families at the White House serving as the dentist to the Clinton Administration. In 2011, PJ partnered with H. G. Fairfield Arts Center for the Environment Inc. a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization established by Marine & Korean War veteran Katherine Fairfield Freston for “Courage Continues At Home – 30 Shows In 30 Days”. Performing 30 one-hour, stand-up comedy shows throughout the Hudson Valley, New York region.

Benari Poulten MSG - US Army Reserve

Benari Poulten
MSG – US Army Reserve

Benari Poulten is a comedian and writer, as well as an adjunct professor of screenwriting at Cal State Fullerton. A stand-up, sketch, and improv performer, Benari is co-creator and co-host of the irreverent foreign affairs comedy podcast “Where The F#@! Are We,” a writer/performer with the sketch comedy duo The Sophisticates, and he was a writer/performer for Shoot the Messenger Productions.

Benari received his MFA in screenwriting from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and is a Master Sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserve. He is a veteran of both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom and is affectionately known as “G.I. Jew.”

Ralph Figeuroa SGT - US Army

Ralph Figeuroa
SGT – US Army

Ralph Figueroa was born and raised in Southern California. This U.S. Army Veteran proudly served his country for 12 years and continues to serve the Military community by lending his talents to raise awareness.

Ralph’s life long dream of making people laugh became a reality when he picked up the microphone for the first time on January 20, 2010 and has since become one of the hardest working comics in the Southern California comedy circuit. He’s been featured at various comedy clubs and colleges throughout California, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, Texas & Illinois and has opened for some of the biggest names in comedy today.

After years of working together at comedy clubs in Los Angeles, GIs of Comedy creator Thom Tran noticed how hard Ralph worked not only as a comic but as an asset to the veteran community in SoCal. His dedication to duty, integrity and most importantly his comedy made his a perfect candidate for the GIs of Comedy tour, and in 2015 was asked to join the group. He will be joining the team on his first international tour to Korea and Japan this year!
PFC, US Army

Justin Wood
SPC, US Army

The sweetest thing to come from Unionville Center, Ohio since his Grammy’s homemade cinnamon apple sauce, Justin Wood, a United States Army veteran, can be seen performing regularly at bars and clubs around Los Angeles. Justin has also founded the show “Comics That Care.” A show, through Volunteers of America, performing for homeless veterans.


Since moving to Los Angeles in 2011, Justin was recruited to perform with The GIs of Comedy after a impressive showing at a benefit performance for the West LA Fisher House Foundation.


GIs of Comedy creator Thom Tran felt confident enough in Justin’s abilities as a comic as well as a his dedication to his fellow veterans & his ability to present himself and the group honorably, that Justin was sent to perform on behalf of the GIs by himself for a veterans benefit in Miami. Once again proving that not only is he a great comic, but he is a great representative of the GIs of Comedy and veterans around the world, Justin is now a regular touring member of the team.