BY: Jake Coyle
NEW YORK – Stephen Colbert is dusting off his camouflage suit.
The comedian will broadcast two special episodes of Comedy Central’s ‘The Colbert Report‘ to celebrate the end of combat operations in Iraq and to honor returning troops.
On Sept. 8 and 9, the show will fill its audience with Iraq War veterans and active duty service men and women. Others will be beamed in via satellite from Iraq, Afghanistan and the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
‘The Report,’ which likes to parody over-the-top cable news graphics, is calling the episodes ‘Been There: Won That: The Returnification of the American-Do Troopscape.’
Guests will include Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Sen. Jim Webb and the U.S. military commander in Iraq, Gen. Ray Odierno.
Odierno famously shaved Colbert’s head — on President Barack Obama’s orders — when the comedian broadcast four episodes of “The Report” from Baghdad last year. On that visit, Colbert donned a camouflage suit and reported from a desk supported by sand bags.
One of those Iraq episodes earned ‘The Report’ an Emmy nomination for writing for a variety, music or comedy series. The show has three nominations, including for outstanding variety, music or comedy series, heading into the Emmy Awards on Aug. 29.
Watch the latest episode of ‘The Colbert Report:’
The 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, which exited Iraq on Wednesday, officially was designated the last combat brigade to leave Iraq under Obama’s plan to end combat operations there by Aug. 31. Some 50,000 members will stay another year in what is designated as a noncombat role.
Though Colbert’s normal mode is satire, he’s a strong supporter of the troops.
With the WristStrong bracelets he’s promoted since falling while running around his desk and breaking his wrist, he has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Yellow Ribbon Fund, a charity that assists injured service members and their families. He’s a board member of DonorsChoose.org, which is raising money for the education of children of parents in the military.
“Sometimes,” Colbert said earlier to The Associated Press, “my character and I agree.”
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