Cam Dupre is a Marine Infantryman who hails from Baton Rouge, LA. Cam joined the USMC in 2007 when he was 18 years old. During his 4 years he was assigned to 2/2 out of Camp Lejeune, NC and deployed to Iraq’s Al Anbar Province and Afghanistan’s Helmand Province. After an honorable discharge Cam made the move to Chicago to pursue a career in acting and comedy. After studying at Chicago’s Second City theater, Cam founded an all veteran touring theater company, Stars and Gripes to continue his service of Veteran outreach and awareness as well as to bring theater to the veteran world. Cam is also a musician, rapper (under the name Diezel, Cam has recently released his debut album), and a Rubik’s cube speed solver with a record solve time of 38 seconds.
Cam currently lives in Chicago and tours with Stars and Gripes. You can catch Cam performing with Stars and Gripes at Chicago Sketchfest 2016, where Stars and Gripes were chosen as top 5 must see shows by the Sun Times, as well as on Fridays in Feburary at Second City’s Donny’s Skybox Theater 7pm.
LOA: How do you reconcile the difference in gravity between what you did in the military and what you do as a civilian? Do you get restless?
Cam: I definitely had to do some searching. I felt there was a void in my life after getting out of the military. I had served such a high purpose for the last 4 years and after I felt under utilized and near useless. The only thing that guided me was my passion for the arts. I had put trust and faith into myself and followed the path that I felt was right for me. It took 4 years of searching, trying, and failing constantly until I found my hook, my guiding light. It was extremely hard, I wanted to give up, I felt lost, sad, and depressed but I just kept that faith and trusted that if I kept at it it was going to pay off some how.
LOA: Scott Fitzgerald said, “all life is a process of breaking down.” How have you used these breakdowns as a platform for rebirth?
Cam: Once you truly believe you hit rock bottom, the. You can only go up. It reminds me of a combat mentality to accept that you’ve already, or will die. Then the fear of death is no more.
LOA: What is the most life-changing event in which you’ve participated since getting home?
Cam: My experience with ayahuasca was very profound for me. It transcends words so it’s very hard to explain, but it put me on a path of recovery for my PTSD that is unmatched by any therapy, pill, or medicine known to man.
LOA: What do you miss most about the military?
Cam: MY FUCKING WAR DOG BROTHERS!
LOA: What do you miss least about the military?
Cam: Having to salute during colors and any officer.
LOA: When you reflect on your time in uniform, what moment, or event, comes back to you most often?
Cam: The time I was sleeping in the barracks during lunch and had my entire squad jump me and give me a birthday beat down.
LOA: Do you discuss your time overseas with your civilian friends? How do they respond?
Cam: Yes, I do. I try to be as open with my experiences as possible. If we as veterans aren’t open about our experiences there is no way for others to develop an understanding of us or our lifestyle. I often tell people the worst thing you can do to learn about the military is watch the news. I’d much rather civilians hear what’s happening overseas from someone that’s been verses the god awful media who could care less about truth. I won’t spin my experience, I’ll tell you how is was, good, bad and ugly. I get many different reactions, someone are stunned and speechless, some are interested and intrigued, some may not like it but like I said, it’s the truth and if rather civilians be educated by a vet than become ignorant by the media.