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Jon Stewart helps Iraq War veterans find jobs in TV

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Rick Kern/Getty Images for Comedy Central

Jon Stewart may be a fervent critic of the Iraq War—remember Mess-o-potamia?—but he’s willing to put politics aside to help veterans land in show business.

Stewart, according to the New York Times, has been running a five-week immersive internship-like program for troops to explore working in TV when they return home. Vets learn to work in areas like talent booking and video editing, build contacts that could land them possible jobs, and attend a career fair at the end of the program. 

In other words, it’s a TV boot camp that gives vets a chance to join an industry that’s otherwise closed off to those returning from war, as military service replaces the years they could have spent in internships and entry-level jobs—the traditional way into TV. It’s also a program Stewart hasn’t publicized much in its three-year history in order to keep it only for vets interested in the industry, not fans wanting to catch a glimpse of his show behind the scenes. Now that he’s leaving the show, he’s beginning to publicize the program.

“This is ready to franchise. Please steal our idea,” Stewart told the Times. “It isn’t charity. To be good in this business you have to bring in different voices from different places, and we have this wealth of experience that just wasn’t being tapped.”

After all, according to Justine Cabulong, a vet who after attending the program became a Daily Show production coordinator, working in TV is similar to her becoming a Marine. “I feel like the Marines was a good preparation for The Daily Show, actually,” she told the Times. “The show is high tempo; it’s pretty chaotic; you have to work together.”

For more, head to the Times website.