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More Mauldin - A 101st fave

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Sent to me by Art Morneweck. Thanks!


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This cartoon featuring the weary, dogface GIs 'Willie and Joe,' was created by Sergeant Bill Mauldin of United Feature Syndicate, Inc., who as a young Army rifleman during World War II gave newspaper readers back home a sardonic, foxhole-level view of the front.





Just give me the aspirin. I already got a Purple Heart."


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Cartoonist Bill Mauldin smiles after receiving the Harry S. Truman Good Neighbor Award in this May 8, 1996, file photo, in Kansas City, Mo. Mauldin, one of the 20th century's pre-eminent editorial cartoonists, died of complications from Alzheimer's disease (news - web sites), at a Newport Beach, Calif., nursing home, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2003. He was 81.


May He Rest In Peace





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Another significant part of the World War II generation is gone now that Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Bill Mauldin is dead at the age of 81. While Mauldin's entire body of work is impressive, it's his earliest work -- the drawings of GIs Willie and Joe -- that earned him the highest praise.

Mauldin made Willie and Joe the voice of the World War II infantryman. Published in Stars and Stripes and other military newspapers, they kept his fellow soldiers entertained and turned Mauldin into an icon. From 1940 to 1945, the unshaven, slump-shouldered soldiers mucked their way through Europe, surviving the enemy and the elements while mocking everything from their orders to their equipment. What endeared Mauldin to the soldiers is that he was one of them, spending most of his time with the 45th Division.


Many Americans remember Mauldin's cartoon in the Chicago Sun-Times, published after President Kennedy's assassination. It showed a grieving Abraham Lincoln, his hands covering his face, at the Lincoln Memorial. But it was because of Willie and Joe that he was remembered so fondly.


Almost every Veterans Day, the late Charles Schulz would honor Mauldin by having Snoopy, as the World War I flying ace, toast the cartoonist with a mug of root beer. Americans should give a similar toast to remember Mauldin and what he meant to a generation of soldiers.






Thursday, January 30, 2003

Cartoonist Mauldin is laid to rest at Arlington

By Patrick J. Dickson, Stars and Stripes

Pacific edition, Friday, January 31, 2003

WASHINGTON — Under skies as bleak as the battered Europe he once drew, former Stars and Stripes cartoonist Bill Mauldin was laid to rest Wednesday at Arlington National Cemetery.


Mauldin died at a California nursing home on January 23, 2003, after a long bout with Alzheimer’s. He was 81.


But it was his life that was remembered by Chaplain (Major) Douglas Fenton and about 50 mourners, mostly family, that gathered in a cold drizzle to pay their respects.


The chaplain listed war heroes and leaders buried at Arlington, then spoke of “the man we honor today, loved by the ‘greatest generation,’ a man who led hearts and warmed smiles†with his distinct talents.


Fenton mentioned one of the thousands of letters Mauldin received while in the nursing home, relaying that the soldier said Mauldin’s “humor kept them moving forward, even in the face of adversity.â€


And with the Pentagon behind them in the distance, seven soldiers from the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, The Old Guard, fired three volleys into the cold air for Mauldin, a Purple Heart recipient.


After Taps was played, Sergeant Major of the Army Jack Tilley took the flag from the honor guard and presented it to Sam Mauldin, the 16-year-old son of the Pulitzer Prize-winning artist.


One of Mauldin’s other sons, David, spoke after the ceremony. Before taking questions, he insisted that those who wrote to his father in the last months of his life be thanked.


“The family is so grateful to the soldiers and veterans who wrote to Dad at the nursing home to express their thoughts and feelings. It really made a difference to Dad.â€


Though Alzheimer’s disease had begun to rob Mauldin of his faculties, he still understood the significance of the gestures.


“It’s hard not to understand, when boxes of letters and mementos come into your life, that you’re still important to people,†David said.


Newspaper columnist Bob Greene wrote in August that the cartoonist was in failing health, and provided an address where admirers could send their wishes. Asked how many letters his father had received, David paused.


“A couple of months ago, it went past 10,000,†he said.


The younger Mauldin noted, as did many at the brief ceremony, that the cold and drizzle was the perfect setting for his father’s funeral.


“It would make sense for him to die in the middle of winter, in terrible weather with lots of mud,†he said.


It was so dismal one had to wonder if Willie and Joe, his bleary-eyed protagonists in many a cartoon, were not there in spirit.


David Mauldin recalled a cartoon in which his father captured the camaraderie of soldiers at the front.


Sitting down in the reeds, their feet lost in the muck, Willie thanks his buddy with the best gift he could give, given the circumstances.


“Joe, yestiddy ya saved my life an’ I swore I’d pay ya back. Here’s my last pair of dry socks,†reads the caption.


“One person sent me a pair of socks,†David said. “A guy named Bill Ellis sent the socks after [Dad’s] death. That moved me to tears.â€


And he started to cry.




An honor guard from the Army's 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment carries Bill

Mauldin's casket to his grave Wednesday at Arlington National Cemetery


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Thought this would catch on! Thanks for your contributions too, including the article. :)

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