18 posts tagged war
For most of us, Memorial Day is synonymous with vacation, but for those that have or continue to serve in the military it means much more. In that spirit, I thought I’d take the time to once again mention one small way you can give back to the men and women who continue to serve this country.
One of the most rewarding aspects of working on GRAVEYARD OF EMPIRES has been the chance to interact with so many veterans. Some helped me research the book, many contacted me to thank Paul Azaceta and I for the book, and others reached out to share their stories.
Paul a I will never forget, for instance, the Marine who after showing us his shrapnel scars, asked us if he could used Paul’s amazing image from Graveyard of Empires #1 as the basis for tattoo. He wanted to ink the names of the four men in his unit lost in the roots of the poppy plant.
If you spend time with anyone who’s served, and hear the stories of what they and their loved ones have sacrificed…you can’t help but want to do something. I did. You can too, and it doesn’t have to cost you anything.
If you’re like me, you’ve probably amassed a huge collection of comic books. You may not have room for them, and it’s unlikely you’re going to re-read most of them. The secondary market for comics has collapsed to the point where you not only can’t make money by selling old books, you can’t even get most comic stores to take them off your hands for free.
But there are men and women who could use the diversion that comics provide. War has been described as “long periods of boredom punctuated by punctuated by moments of sheer terror”. There’s not much you can do about the sheer terror short of enlisting, but there is something you can do to help alleviate the boredom.
Donate your comics to Operation Gratitude.
Here’s how they describe what they do:
“Operation Gratitude annually sends 100,000 care packages filled with snacks, entertainment items and personal letters of appreciation addressed to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed in hostile regions, to their children left behind and to Wounded Warriors recuperating in Transition Units. Our mission is to lift morale, bring a smile to a service member’s face and express to our Armed Forces the appreciation and support of the American people. Each package contains donated product valued at ~$125 and costs the organization $15 to assemble and ship. For safety and security, assembling of packages occurs at the Army National Guard armory in Van Nuys, California. Since its inception in 2003, Operation Gratitude volunteers have shipped more than 660,000 packages to American Military deployed overseas.”
I’ve driven hundreds of comics, graphic novels, books, dvds and videogames over to their HQ and the Van Nuys, CA National Guard Armory. I’m not saying that to brag, but rather to give you an idea how easy it is.
My poorly taken photo doesn’t convey the massive volunteer operation they have going, but I felt uncomfortable taking pictures at a military installation, even with permission.
But everything you see here, and more, gets sent directly overseas to the troops:
(Those are Marines standing by a Cobra gunship like the ones in GRAVEYARD)
You don’t need to drive to Van Nuys, you can mail your comics there. They don’t need to be comics…You can donate candy, cellphones, cars, even cash (here’s a more complete list of things you can do, including volunteering your time). But do something.
Trust me…I’m lazy, self-involved and practically a shut-in, and I did.
At the very least, please re-blog, re-tweet and re-post the hell out of this on Facebook so others can.
P.S. Although I hate making this at all about me, for those of you asking where GRAVEYARD OF EMPIRES #4 is, Paul is completely done with the art, it’s just waiting to be colored and lettered, so it should be out in June. Here’s a never page from the final issue to whet your appetite:
Hope you all had/have a great Memorial Day.