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Cartoonists Head Overseas to Entertain Deployed Service Members

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A group of renowned cartoonists are set to drop in on deployed troops, just in time for some Halloween merriment. 

Ray Alma (MAD Magazine), Paul Combs (Fire Engineering magazine), Bruce Higdon (Punderstatements), Mason Mastroianni (B.C.), Ed Steckley (MAD Magazine) and Tom Stiglich (editorial cartoons and Uncle Joe) are preparing for a USO tour to Germany, Turkey and Kosovo October 21-29 where they will visit, uplift and treat scores of troops and their families with fun-filled entertainment and gifted artistic skills. The USO veteran entertainers will also tour multiple work sites, pose for photos and spend upwards of 30 hours drawing personalized cartoons and caricatures for servicemen and women and their families to take home and enjoy.

This tour is a follow-up to last month’s USO cartoonists tour, which took place in the Middle East and made history by providing the last stint of USO entertainment for the USS Enterprise prior to its decommissioning later this year.  The trip marks the third USO tour for Higdon and Steckley and the second for Alma, Combs, Mastroianni and Stiglich, who have collectively traveled to Kuwait, Iraq, Germany and Qatar.

“I am always excited and honored to be a part of the USO's tremendous effort to lift the spirit of America's troops and their families,” Higdon said. “To be surrounded by our nation's heroes and, hopefully, bring smiles to their faces, while thanking them for the service to our nation and its freedoms is a priceless experience that cannot be described in words.”

Said Steckley: “I'm extremely honored and humbled to be included in this upcoming USO tour to Kosovo, Germany and Turkey. It's always a thrill to work with a group like this, and to show our appreciation for our servicemen and women around the world.”

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Photo caption: Bruce Higdon holds up a drawing of a soldier, whom he sketched while on a USO tour to Germany, Kuwait and Iraq in Oct. 2009. (USO photo by Jackie Zettles) 

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