Rob's Blog

February 22nd, 2013: USO trips can be very touching…

by on Feb.22, 2013, under Caricatures, Other Travels


Yesterday myself and nine other cartoonists of the National Cartoonists Society were brought in from around the country by the USO to give something back to our great military service men and women and, hopefully, put some smiles on some faces.

We were taken to draw at Brooke Army Medical Center, the Center for the Intrepid and USO welcome areas. The cartoonists on the trip were Debbie Schafer, Bill Hinds, John Read, Bruce Higdon, Todd Clark, T. Lewis, Glenn McCoy, Paul Combs and Rob Harrell.

On the trips we all tend to have an occasion when something really special happens. That happened to me as Bill Hinds and I drew a Vietnam veteran named Greg who was in a wheelchair in the hallway of the V.A. hospital. Greg had a face that told of a long, tough life. His hair, at his advanced age, flowed down to his shoulders. His mustache and beard were as long.

Bill was the one really connecting with Greg as he drew a caricature. They both like hard rock music and sports. But it was me he said he had something for. I handed him the drawing and Greg asked me to follow him to his room. One he had gotten himself wheeled into the room, he carefully got down his baseball cap and proceeded to take something off it. I had to help him as he explained how his hands don’t work as well as they once did. What he insisted I have was his metal Marines emblem. He explained it was attached to his uniform while in the war from 1967 to 1971. I insisted that he pass it on to family, when it occurred to me he might not have any.

He told me to attach it to the USO baseball cap I was wearing through one of the holes at the top like he had done. I told him I would and wouldn’t remove it. I vigorously shook his hand and told him how honored I was to be selected to have the piece.

It really staggered me to receive the Marine pin. It will stay on the hat and go with me on all other USO events I am fortunate to be chosen for. A photo of the pin is below.


No comments for this entry yet...

Leave a Reply

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!