The technical side of the military is a right-side-of-the-brain function. Or maybe left. I’m not sure. But I do know that attending a convention full of cartoonists uses the other side.
You know how at a military function everyone looks so spiffy? How every detail in the uniform is perfect? It’s not like that at a cartoon convention. For our black tie affair (formally called the Reuben Awards), I saw tuxedo shoes that looked like tennis shoes, only shiny. I saw not one, but TWO people wearing Statue of Liberty foam hats. Ties were…how shall I say…not uniform.
They have karaoke. You don’t find that at a Navy Ball.
But as I looked around at the big room full of goofballs, I saw something else that might surprise you. I saw scores of cartoonists who have traveled – without pay – to visit wounded troops and veterans all over the country and in Europe. Some have been to sea to draw for Sailors and Marines. Others have been to Kuwait and Iraq. Almost all of them are hoping to get to Afghanistan to draw for the troops and put smiles on their faces too.
None of them talk about how great they are. All they talk about is how great the troops are. How inspiring the wounded warriors are. How the visits have changed their lives.
So as I looked around I realized that I was surrounded by a bunch of good guys. Guys who really appreciate what Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen and Coastguardsmen are doing on their behalf. Guys who I’m proud to call friends.
It’s a no-brainer.