Here is the official press release from the USO on our trip overseas. The exact places we are visiting in Kuwait and Iraq are classified… I’d tell you where they are but then I’d have to kill you.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 14, 2009
Contacts: Oname Thompson, (703) 908-6471
National Cartoonist Society to Draw Smiles on USO Entertainment Tour to Germany and Persian Gulf
ARLINGTON, Va. – 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.¬¨‚Ä† 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.¬¨‚Ä† Committed to showing their support to America’s Armed Forces, they will also make personalized sketches for troops.¬¨‚Ä† The tour will include:
- Jeff Bacon of “Broadside” and “Greenside”
- Chip Bok syndicated editorial cartoonist
- 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¬¨‚Ä†with the USO to World War II, when professional cartoonists made repeated trips overseas to entertain troops.¬¨‚Ä† 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.¬¨‚Ä† In 2008, the USO sponsored eight cartoonists to travel to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, National Naval Medical Center and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.¬¨‚Ä† 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. ¬¨‚Ä†”They, much like my dad who served in the Army back in the mid-1940s, have worked so hard and sacrificed so much. ¬¨‚Ä†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.¬¨‚Ä† In 2008, celebrity entertainers traveled to 27 countries and 23 states, entertaining more than 236,000 troops and their families.
About the USO
The USO (United Service Organizations) lifts the spirits of America’s armed forces and their families.¬¨‚Ä† We provide a touch of home to troops wherever they serve through centers at airports and military bases around the world, top quality entertainment and innovative programs and services tailored to meet the needs of troops and their families.¬¨‚Ä† The USO is not a government agency and relies on the generosity of the American people.¬¨‚Ä† The USO is also supported by Worldwide Strategic Partners AT&T Inc., BAE Systems, The Boeing Company, Clear Channel Communications, The Coca-Cola Company, Gallery Furniture, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft Corporation, Northrop Grumman Corporation, S & K Sales Co. and TriWest Healthcare Alliance.¬¨‚Ä† Other corporate donors, including the United Way and Combined Federal Campaign (CFC-11381), have joined millions of individual donors to support the USO.¬¨‚Ä† For more information, please visit www.uso.org.
Again, how often I can blog will depend much on my internet access and scheduling when on the trip. There are also a whole lot of rules about what we can and can’t do via blogs and the internet… no Geraldo shenanigans.
740 My cover art for the next issue of MAD, exclusive sneak peek from @entertainmentweekly website
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