Los Angeles Times - - STAY HEALTHY - —Stephanie In­man

Ac­tor and co­me­dian Rob Rig­gle is known for his hi­lar­i­ous roles in pop­u­lar movies like The Hang­over and 21 Jump Street. But be­fore Rig­gle was star­ring in come­dies with Bradley Cooper or per­form­ing sketches on Sat­ur­day Night Live or The Daily Show With Jon

Stewart, he was a hard-charg­ing, butt-kick­ing Ma­rine. And Rig­gle, who has been work­ing on a com­edy project for ABC, took his mil­i­tary role very se­ri­ously. “I loved be­ing a Ma­rine,” he says. “It’s a great honor. And not to sound too corny, but I re­ally love my coun­try.”

He joined at 19 and served a to­tal of 23 years—nine on ac­tive duty and 14 in the Re­serve, as a pub­lic af­fairs of­fi­cer. He only re­cently re­tired, in 2013, af­ter reach­ing one of the high­est ranks in the Ma­rine Corps, re­ceiv­ing more than 20 medals and rib­bons and de­ploy­ing over­seas four times, in­clud­ing to Afghanistan af­ter 9/11.

“My coun­try was just at­tacked and I had just spent mul­ti­ple days work­ing very hard down at Ground Zero… and I was p---ed off,” he says.

From Ser­vice to Suc­cess

Many of the lessons Rig­gle learned in the mil­i­tary helped him nav­i­gate the cut­throat world of Hol­ly­wood. “The Marines gave me a thick skin and a sense of de­ter­mi­na­tion, which you need if you are try­ing to make it in show busi­ness,” he says.

He’s given back to fel­low vet­er­ans in many ways, such as per­form­ing on USO tours and host­ing a vet­eran celebrity golf tour­na­ment to ben­e­fit the Sem­per Fi Fund, an or­ga­ni­za­tion that pro­vides fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance and sup­port to wounded ser­vice mem­bers.

Al­though he’s re­tired, Rig­gle still holds the Ma­rine Corps in the high­est re­gard. “I miss be­ing a Ma­rine. There’s such an amaz­ing at­ti­tude of ab­so­lutely ‘can do, can do, can do.’”

Visit Pa­­er­ans to read about other hon­ored vets.

ROB RIG­GLE Re­tired lieu­tenant colonel, U.S. Ma­rine Corps Forces Re­serve, Ma­rine Train­ing Unit-17

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