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10 cartoonists shipping off for Middle East

From the United Service Organizations press release:

The USO and the National Cartoonist Society (NCS) will soon deploy ten of today’s most recognized cartoonists and caricaturists on a week-long entertainment tour to visit troops stationed in Germany and the Persian Gulf. The group will visit wounded troops at the USO Warrior Center at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany and more than a dozen military bases in the combat zone. Committed to showing their support to America’s Armed Forces, they will also make personalized sketches for troops.

The tour will include:

  • Jeff Bacon of “Broadside” and “Greenside”
  • Chip Bok of the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Time and Newsweek
  • Bruce Higdon of Army Times, Army Magazine, Soldiers Magazine, and Stars and Stripes
  • Jeff Keane of “The Family Circus”
  • Rick Kirkman of “Baby Blues”
  • Stephan Pastis of “Pearls Before Swine”
  • Mike Peters of “Mother Goose and Grimm”
  • Michael Ramirez of Investors Business Daily
  • Tom Richmond of MAD Magazine
  • Garry Trudeau of “Doonesbury”

The NCS traces its association with the USO to World War II, when professional cartoonists made repeated trips overseas to entertain troops. Whether visiting military hospitals, entertaining troops with chalk talks, or sharing words of encouragement, approximately one hundred professional cartoonists and caricaturists have participated in military-related trips. In 2008, the USO sponsored eight cartoonists to travel to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, National Naval Medical Center and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center. A similar trip was organized earlier this year.

“I’m so proud of our men and women in uniform,” said Jeff Keane, President of the National Cartoonists Society. “They, much like my dad who served in the Army back in the mid-1940s, have worked so hard and sacrificed so much. I am honored to be part of this USO tour and I can’t thank our troops enough.”

In times of peace and war, the USO consistently delivers its special brand of entertainment and comfort to service members around the world. In 2008, celebrity entertainers traveled to 27 countries and 23 states, entertaining more than 236,000 troops and their families.

Community Comments

#1 Phil Tograph
@ 4:22 pm

Take care, guys. Thanks for what you are doing for our military personnel.

#2 Jason Barry
@ 12:31 am

Safe travels and thanks.

#3 Rich Diesslin
@ 12:36 am


#4 John Read
@ 7:45 am

Stephan should get a kick out of the PBS comic strip that’s been clipped from a newspaper and taped to the entrance door of the Landstuhl base radio station (assuming it’s still there).

#5 Bill Hinds
@ 7:47 am

Bravo! Be careful guys.

#6 John Read
@ 7:54 am

Jack Davis told me that he was really glad to be able to go on the USO trip earlier this year, but that he was too old to do it again, so he hoped that more cartoonists would volunteer for this wonderful “mission.” It would appear, based on the line-up for this trip, that Jack need not worry about Jeff’s being able to find volunteers!

#7 John Read
@ 7:56 am

For those unaware, Bill Hinds was one of those volunteers on the same trip as Jack.

#8 Joshua Skurtu
@ 10:08 am

That’s awesome that they are going. Godspeed and good luck! I wish we heard about more celebrities pitching in like this. Unfortunately, all we hear about is their E-News BS.


#9 Jeff Bacon
@ 3:22 pm

We’re in the Persian Gulf region now. The visits are going great, and the cartoonists are doing a fantastic job.

Met the CEO of the USO in DC and Germany, and it looks like more trips of this type will be coming in the future. Keep your passports up to date!

#10 Deb Robbins
@ 7:53 pm

Chip Bok has blog up: – very cool.

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