MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJUENE N.C. --
What do Marines have in common with Marvel Comic’s Spiderman? The answer is simple, they both helped inspire the creation of a new kind of charity event taking place aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. This particular event combines the love of comic books with the desire to help wounded Marines.
“I call it Comics 4 Heroes,” said Sgt. Jacob Smith, a scout squad leader with Headquarters and Service Company, 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion and founder of Comics 4 Heroes. “I take blank covered marvel comic books and get them into the hands of artists who create their own rendition of the character from the comic book they’ve chosen, which will be auctioned off. All proceeds will be going to the wounded warriors project and a program called Stiggy’s dogs.”
The Wounded Warrior Project provides help to injured service members with unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs, while Stiggy’s Dogs is a program which partners military veterans with rehabilitated shelter dogs. Stiggy’s Dogs was started by the mother of a Navy corpsman who died in Afghanistan during 2nd LAR’s last deployment, which according to Smith gave him a personal interest in aiding the program.
“During our last deployment we lost six Marines and sailors from LAR and had a number of injured, so I have a lot of friends who are involved with these programs,” said Smith, a native of Fenton Michigan.
The idea for Comics 4 Heroes came to Smith while talking to a friend about comic books over dinner during Veterans Day 2011. Although the program is in its early stages, Smith says he has had a great response from the artists who are taking part.
“I started off going to local tattoo shops and surprisingly they were really interested. Most of them even took five or six comics to work on,” said Smith, who says Spiderman has always been his favorite superhero. “Right now there are also a number of Marines taking part, which I think is great, considering this cause is for Marines.”
The Marines currently involved with the program learned about Smith’s Comics 4 Heroes through word-of-mouth and come from many different units across Camp Lejeune.
“I was instantly interested in the idea,” said Cpl. Mark-Anthony Marshall, tech support chief for Headquarters Company, 2nd Marine Division. “The fact that I could use my art to help the wounded Marines was what really sold me on the idea.”
Although Smith claims he isn’t so much an artist as he is a collector, he puts his confidence in the abilities of the numerous artists who are kind enough to donate their time and efforts to this worthwhile cause.
“I would love for more Marines to get involved with the program and use their artistic skills to help,” said Smith.
Editors Note: Currently the first Comics 4 Heroes auction is slated to take place Saturday, May 5, 2012 at Fanboy Comics in Wilmington N.C. For anyone interested in taking part in Comics 4 Heroes, Smith can be reached via email at Comics4Heroes@AOL.com.