By Robyn Wright
Some of you may know of the cartoons of Willie and Joe and their challenges during World War II. These were created by Bill Mauldin, a member of the 45th Infantry Division Stars and Stripes as he and the rest of the Stars and Strips printers traveled through Sicily, Naples, Anzio, Rome, North Africa, and Southern France.
My dad, Fred Unwin, was the foreman in the first shop that printed the Stars and Strips newspaper and worked with Bill Mauldin. Because of this relationship, I have always been interested in articles written about Bill.
The other day I was on Facebook and started reading all the postings under a post named Grand Comics Database. I found many others who had either fathers or grandfathers who appreciated the antics of Willie and Joe, some had copies of Mauldin’s books, and others related their ancestors’ stories of WWII or of their appreciation of the Stars and Stripes.
One respondent mentioned his dad was a typesetter for the paper, friends with Mauldin and often asked to pose for the cartoons. I responded by mentioning I had a pencil-drawn cartoon that Mauldin had signed and given to my dad.
We took our conversation to Messenger and he sent me three pictures he had on his computer of his dad and unknown men that he was not sure were Stars and Strips printers or not. Was I surprised when I got to the third picture, of four men sitting at a table; my dad was one of those in a picture I had never seen.
What a wonderful surprise, this is a very small world after all. I know the military makes brothers and sisters of those who share a common cause, but there can be a comradery between their children and grandchildren also.
During this month, as we celebrate Veteran’s Day, may we remember ALL veterans who have served, in all our wars, police actions, and during times of peace.