One little boy is making memories and helping the troops at the same time. Nine-year-old Carl, of the Carl’s Comix blog, is doing great things with his love for comic books. Carl’s blog focuses on comic book reviews and interviews with some of the top comic creators, and he recently decided to give back to those who give so much to our country.
When Jennifer Myers from the Department of Veterans Affairs suggested that Carl donates the rest of his collected comic books to the troops overseas, he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to give back and share his love of the comic book industry. Myers coordinated a plan for Carl to visit Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey on April 5th and he arrived with a car filled with eight boxes of comic books. But, he soon learned that he wasn’t just there to drop off the boxes and the military members on the base had a lot in store for him for this once in a lifetime visit.
Carl was excited that he got to sit in the front seat of the car for once since the eight boxes took up the back seat, but he was in for a real treat when the staff at the base had made a designated parking spot for him, titled “Master Carl.” As soon as Carl and his dad got out of the car, the staff started out his personal tour of the base by letting him sit in C-17.
Next Carl and his dad were treated to a tour of the 87th Logistics Readiness Squadron, led by Chief Master Sergeant Nicole Sheleva.
They then went over to the Armory, where Carl was allowed to try on a vest that weighed 35 pounds.
“I could barely stand,” said Carl. “They also put a helmet on me which weighed 8 pounds.”
Carl then got to experience an unexpected fire alarm after he removed the gear. After everyone evacuated the buildings on base, Commander Lowery took the time to announce why Carl was there and she presented him with a medal as everyone gathered around. As Commander Lowery handed Carl her coin of excellence, everyone applauded and cheered him on, which made him so excited that he couldn’t stand.
Following the fire alarm, Carl and his dad were led back inside where they had a photo op in Commander Lowery’s office. The Chief also presented Carl with a coin that said “integrity, service and excellence” on the front side and “lead, inspire and dream” on the back side. They made sure that Carl was aware of the importance of the coin and that they are only given to those who do a spectacular job.
Carl then visited the office of Master Sergeant Griego, where he got to hear stories about how he survived an attack in Afghanistan. Carl later learned that Master Sergeant Griego was the recipient of the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star after he helped saved other soldiers’ lives in the attack.
Thanks to his kind donation to the troops, Carl ended up having the best day of his life as he toured the base and met many new friends.