News: Cartoonists Boost Morale During USO Tour
Story by Sgt. Audrey Santana
ZABUL, Afghanistan- Six professional cartoonists participated in a whirl-wind USO tour in Afghanistan.
The cartoonists were split into two groups and a team of three made an appearance at Forward Operating Base Lagman in Zabul Province Wednesday, Nov. 10. This was the first USO tour at FOB Lagman since 2SCR deployed to Afghanistan early last summer.
Rick Kirkman, creator of the comic strip Baby Blues, Mike Luckovich, a Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist and Garry Trudeau, the creator of Doonsebury, all took time to sit, draw, and visit soldiers.
Rick has been creating comic strips for 20 years and the military plays a huge role in his upbringing.
“I grew up an ‘Air Force brat’ so I know the sacrifices that service families go through. Growing up, I got to see USO shows and now I have the opportunity do something like what I had a chance to benefit from when I was a kid. I like to think that I am also doing this for my dad,” said Kirkman.
Mike, who drew caricatures for each person who sat down with him, was excited to share his gift.
“This war has dragged on for so long and I think that the troops may feel a little bit forgotten. I just want to let them know that we’re thinking about them. They are giving so much for us every day and this is our little way of giving back,” said Luckovich.
Doonsebury is a very well known strip that touches on politics, war, and governmental issues.
Garry started Doonsebury forty years ago and is still going strong. He feels strongly about one subject in particular and it’s often the main focus of his writing.
“I write about wounded warrior issues quite a bit and I have gotten help from wounded soldiers themselves,” said Trudeau. “Touring with the USO is a way for me to give back all the help I have received through the years.”
The cartoonists were able to visit with service members, have a quick lunch, and present a special banner of appreciation to the 2SCR Regimental Command Sgt. Maj. Mark A. Morris.
Although their time at Lagman was short, the cartoonists felt like they had accomplished something important. They brought a little laughter and a little break to a place where that isn’t so common.