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Some of America's best-known cartoonists began a USO tour of bases in Germany and the Middle East Friday with a visit to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.

According to a USO press release, the group was to include Jeff Bacon ("Broadside" and "Greenside"); Chip Bok (Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Time and Newsweek); Bruce Higdon (Army Times, Army Magazine, Soldiers Magazine) ; Jeff Keane ("The Family Circus"); Rick Kirkman ("Baby Blues"); Stephan Pastis ("Pearls Before Swine"); Mike Peters ("Mother Goose and Grimm"); Michael Ramirez (Investors Business Daily); Tom Richmond (MAD Magazine); and Garry Trudeau ("Doonesbury").

"I'm so proud of our men and women in uniform," said Jeff Keane, President of the National Cartoonists Society. "They, much like my dad who served in the Army back in the mid-1940s, have worked so hard and sacrificed so much. I am honored to be part of this USO tour and I can't thank our troops enough."

Keane's father, Bil, was a Pacific Stars and Stripes cartoonist in the months following the end of World War II.

Follow the cartoonists on Tom Richmond's blog here.

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