A few weeks ago I mentioned a special USO and NCS sponsored trip I would be taking where several cartoonists would be visiting U.S. military hospitals in Germany to spend some time with wounded soldiers and medical staff. I am currently in Washington D.C., where today our little group of cartoonist will be visiting the Walter Reed Medical Center and the Bathesda Naval Base to see staff and recovering war veterans. Tonight we will fly out of Washington-Dulles to Heathrow in London, with just a short layover (sorry Steve Hearn, I am airport-bound there) before we are off to Frankfurt and from there to Landstuhl. There we will visit the Lundstuhl Regional Medical Center on Wednesday. The next day we will be going to the Contingency Aeromedical Staging Facility USO to visit the medical evacuation hub and then on to the Air Terminal USO on Ramstein Air Base. We will be back on Thursday.
The final group of artists has changed a little due to various scheduling conflict. Our group includes the man behind this effort and several others bringing cartoonists to military hospitals all over the U.S., Jeff Bacon (“Broadside”, Naval Times) NCS president Jeff Keane (“Family Circus”), Mike Peters (“Mother Goose and Grimm”, editorial cartoonist), Chip Bok (editorial cartoonist), Stephan Pastis (“Pearls Before Swine”), Rick Kirkman (“Baby Blues”), Bruce Higdon (“Punderstatements”, freelance cartoonist), and myself (bum). Quite a group.
I will be unable to take any photos of our hospital visits due to strict rules on that sort of thing, but I will give a full report of the trip and have lots of other pictures of our little crew. I’m glad we will have a guide throught the trip as I may have enough of a smattering of french and spanish to get by in France and Spain and by osmosis can probably fake it if I am ever in Italy with a little cramming first, I know virtually zero German. I have a feeling if I try and ask for the bathroom I’ll end up in the theater.
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