Stephen Colbert greets troops and civilians on June 5, 2009, at Al Faw Palace at Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq. Colbert has been tapped to replace David Letterman on CBS' 'Late Night' show. (Lee Craker/Army)
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Stephen Colbert will be the next host of CBS’ “Late Show,” drawing congratulations from retired Army Gen. David Petraeus, former commander of U.S. troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
“It is great to see a figure who has been such a tremendous supporter of our men and women in uniform — and who visited them in combat — selected to host the ‘Late Show!’ ” Petraeus told Military Times on Thursday.
Colbert famously visited U.S. troops in Iraq in June 2009,when then-Iraq commander Gen. Ray Odierno gave Colbert an Army regulation haircut under a direct order from President Obama.
In a March 2009 interview with Stars and Stripes, Colbert said he was honored to be asked to entertain U.S. troops, especially since the media had largely stopped covering the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In his office, he keeps a flag from the 82nd Airborne Division that a wounded soldier who attended his show gave him.
“Those men and women are sacrificing as much as they ever have; they’re away from their families, their families are losing homes back here, their families are losing jobs back here, and, you know, we’re in a time of change, not much has changed for them yet,” Colbert said at the time.