Welcome to the first edition of the newsletter for Operation Comix Relief. My name is Edith and I am assisting our fearless leader, OCR's creator, Chris Tarbassian in updating all of our readers on how Operation Comix Relief has developed into a not- so- small home project. This huge accomplishment is attributed to the generosity, goodwill and kindness of Chris' supporters who have lent their comic books, funds, ideas, suggestions, feedback and, most importantly, support.
As most of you know, Chris' story had its first PR through the MetroWest Daily News (3/22/03). These were, indeed, its humble origination. Since then, The Boston Globe (4/3/03) has carried his story, in addition The Armenian Weekly (3/29/03). In the past few days alone, Chris' Framingham home has become flooded with masses of comic books. E-mails have been pouring into his inbox, offering support and stories of how families and loved ones have been coping with the current mobilization of troops in Iraq, as well as memories of previous wars. Bottom line, Chris' idea has really hit home and he and I have been discussing the possibility of OCR continuing well beyond this current Iraqi war.
All in all, Chris' small idea has mushroomed into a patriotic idea which has its future well beyond its original vision. The next idea being worked on is involving churches and schools. Chris would like to broaden the audience and send out comic books to as many G.I.'s (especially in hostile areas) as he receives names of. As always, all help is appreciated, whether in donating the books, stamps, funds for stamps or names of who to send packages to. Personally, I'm hoping I can connect with the right folks and have Chris' efforts recognized on a much broader scale. Well deserved, fearless leader...well deserved.
Thanks again, everyone, for your help, support and feedback. If you have suggestions and ideas on what else you would like our newsletter to contain, please feel free to write to me.
Take good care,
Where is the summer? Can you believe we are
almost into fall! Well, none the less it is coming and
the packages are going out pretty steady now. We’re
receiving letters almost daily now either saying
thanks or requesting a package. I guess OCR continues
to be a hit with the soldiers.
Kim continues to work on postage so that we can
keep shipping, as the demand increases. This is a good
As always, thanks to all of our supporters. If
you haven’t gotten a note from me, it is only because
the printer went down and I had to get a new one. One
will be coming to you soon.
Once again our neighbor to the north (Canada)
continues to send support to our soldiers. I
frequently get comics from folks there, but once
again, we just received a donation for postage. Thank
you to them for the support, I sure it doesn’t go
unnoticed by the soldiers. And to all of the US folks,
remember what they are doing for our soldiers!
Until next month, Chris
Issue 9 & 10
We’ll here we are again, the holidays are upon us
and another year comes to a close. So, happy holidays
to all and to our supporters both new and old, thank
Thanks to all of the support we’ve received,
these holidays are going to be special for many of the
soldiers. OCR was able shipped out over 200 packages
just after Thanksgiving! To pull this feat off (our
largest shipment at one time to date) we had to get
some help, so who did we call, Collin Kelly’s Boys
Helping Veterans (BHV). These little guys and their
parents helped put together the bulks of these
packages. Speaking of Collin, he did a great job on
Jay Leno if any of you got to see it.
We also got some help from John Grigg, a Marine
who returned from the Gulf not to long ago and a few
of his friends. He was joined by his brother Jason who
just returned from the Gulf (Jason was with the 42 MP
Co.whom I mentioned a while back when we shipped to
them). The surprise was on me however, as he was a
recipient of a package from us and came to help out as
his way of saying thank you and to support the
soldiers still over there. Well, the pleasure was ours
and glad that we could help. It was an honor to meet
these to gentlemen.
Pulling some strings, I was able to find where
Spc. Miguel Pachebat is and shipped him a package.
Hopefully these will help some wounded soldiers as he
has access to them being a medic.
On that note, Major Chafe (formerly Capt.
Chafe) and his wife, just gave birth to their first
child. Baby Ella enter the world this past Mon.. All
are well and congratulations to both of them.
It also appears that OCR is on the verge of
celebrating another anniversary. This will happen in
March and I’ll talk about that more as it gets closer.
In two more firsts for OCR, we shipped to our
first Coast Guardsman and to one of the highest
ranking soldiers we will probably ever encounter, a
Brigadier General. I am hoping the General can see the
humor in it and doesn’t throw me in the stockade!
Last but not least if anyone did not get a
letter for a donation that they sent, please contact
me and I apologize for the oversight. I think I have
kept up pretty good, but I still may have accidentally
Well folks, as things wind down for the year,
I again would like to say thank you to all who have
helped with OCR. Without you there would be no OCR.
Have a great holiday season,
Hope everyone enjoyed the month of August as much as we did here at OCR. I have to say it was and still is pretty busy here.
A large number of packages went out this month. We have and are still hearing from a large number of soldiers in the Gulf that are based out of HI. Seems that the young lady I met last month whose husband is one of those soldiers, spread the word about OCR and well you guessed it...packages request are coming in strong. I’m glad we can help! Maybe I’ll be able to get a tour of the Army base out there when I go back, and can once again share the pictures with all of you.
Comic donations are coming in strong and addresses right now do not seem to be an issue.
Kim is working away at trying to get postage donations. Kim as always thank you!
It appears that Wizard Magazine will be having a convention (Wizard World) here in Boston soon. From what I’m told about their conventions, they’re pretty big and a fun time for all. I’m hoping to be there and maybe meet some of you folks; not sure if I’ll have a table or just come as a regular individual. Either way, I’m looking forward to it.
Also, for you those interested, I was contacted by Lisa Feliciano (the Public & Media Relations Specialist) of the CT Historical Society Museum in Harford, CT. You may remember them from a while back.
They had invited me down to see an exhibit they had on CT’s history with the comic book. Well they now are currently running an exhibit entitled “A Camera at War: World War II Photographs of the Pacific Theater Through Art Kiely’s Camera”. If your interest you should go check it out. It’s an easy drive and the building is absolutely beautiful.
For those who are new to the OCR family, welcome! To all those who have donated, once again thank you. Letters will be going out soon now that we have a new printer. Thanks for the patience!
Until next month,
Issue 7 & 8
Sept. & Oct. 05
It has been a while since the last newsletter so
we have some catching up to do. As Veteran’s Day is
right around the corner, let us first start by saying
Happy Veteran’s Day to all of our veterans and thank
Also, as Thanksgiving is around the corner, happy
Thanksgiving to everyone.
OCR continues to send packages out steadily and
continues to receive letters of thanks. Seems that our
soldiers really like to get the packages and requests
by them and their families continue to be received.
During the first weekend in Oct., Wizard World
Boston was held to the enjoyment of many. During the
event they were kind enough to put out a collection
bottle and a nice amount of money was raised to help
with postage. We would like to say thank you to Wizard
for doing that.
Ironically, Ms. Eliza Dushku (of “Buffy” and
“Angel”) was one of the actors present; turns out that
she is a family friends of OCR’s editor Mr. Glenn
Matto. Glenn I would love to tell you she said your
“the one that got away”, but I can not.
Speaking of Wizard World, I would also like to
say that it was great to finally get a chance to meet
some of your folks. I had the opportunity to attend
the event one day and was fortunate to meet some of
you that I have written to for so long but never have
met in person. It was an honor to meet folks like Mr.
Chris Campanozzi from Open Book Press who is
constantly sending us packages of comics to ship to
the soldiers. Furthermore, he had one of the best
tables in the place as he was directly across from
three scantily clad women that were at another
Also, present that day was Mr. Jack Lefevera of
Bedrock Comics who supported us from the first days of
OCR and continues to this day.
This brings me to our next point, welcome to our
new supporters and thank you to all!
Now if you can remember back to before Memorial
Day, I mentioned that Mrs. Lynn Kelly’s son Collin was
the young boy who wanted to plant flower on soldier’s
graves and was stopped by a cemetery here in
Framingham, MA where OCR is located. As I mentioned,
Mrs. Kelly is someone who has had OCR come into her
CCD classes and let the kids help with the packages
and send letters to the soldiers. They even raised the
money to send some of the packages!
Anyways, we offered to help her and within a week
Collin was back to planting flower. Well, the story
went national and now on Veteran’s Day he’s going to
be on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”.
I had asked Mrs. Kelly not to give out my home
number until she told me that the other guest that
night is supposed to be Eva Longoria (of “Desperate
Housewives & The Young and the Restless"). Lynn you
can give my number to her; PLEASE!
We still have not heard from SPC Miguel
Pachebat. We hope he is well and if he sees this
newsletter, drops us a note with his address so we can
ship him a package.
Lastly, we now kick into high gear as we always
do at this time of the year. We will as always try to
get out as many packages as we can before the
holidays, so that the soldiers can enjoy them on those
So until next month,
Issue 11 & 12
Well, here we are once again; another year over
and a new one begins. Which means OCR is soon to be
another year older. That’s right, in just a few weeks
OCR turns four!
As always, thank you to all of our supporter both new
and old. Without you there would be no OCR.
Let’s see now, where should I begin. Well, Spc.
Miguel Pachebat returned home on leave and visited
with us. He stated that the comics were well received
and very much appreciated by the soldiers. He was very
thankful for what OCR had sent him to pass out to the
soldiers. He’s now returned back to the Gulf and we
have since shipped out more to him.
As for the huge mailing we did before the
holidays; these packages were very well received and
the letters just poured in saying so. In fact, so many
letters came in that we were receiving them daily.
Some of you may remember Maj. Sam Barton from
our past newsletters. He was the officer in
Afghanistan who flew a flag in our honor and mailed it
to us. It appears now that Maj. Barton is now in Iraq;
the man does get around! So, as soon as we get his new
address we will be shipping some packages to him once
again. By the way Maj. Barton, if you see this
newsletter, a flag from Iraq would look really sharp
next to the one from Afghanistan J.
Finally, if you all remember the last
newsletter, I mentioned that I had sent packages to a
General. Well, I did and no I am not going to the
stockade; at least as far as I can tell.
It appears that Brigadier General Chaves enjoyed the
Lastly, in a few weeks I leave on a little trip,
during which I’m hoping to meet the good General and
see his bases. If this happens I hopefully will have
some great pictures to share with all of you.
Until next time,
Issue 1 & 2
It has been a while since our last newsletter and
it is not because there has been nothing going on. On
the contrary, things have been quite busy here at OCR.
First off, OCR turned four in March and as always
I would just like to say thank you to all of our
supporters both old and new. Thanks to you we continue
to be able to support our soldiers.
Packages continue to go out and we are currently
getting ready to do another large shipment. Thankfully
there will not be a large snowstorm the day we ship
these out, unlike the day we shipped out the December
Once again I was invited to see some of the bases
in Hawaii and this time I got to see the Army Base of
Fort Shafter, Scofield Barracks, Wheeler Field, and
the Marine Base of Kane’ohe Bay. All were fascinating
places to see and learn of their historic roles during
the attack on Pearl Harbor.
At the Marine base I was given a wonderful tour
by Cpl Rick Mattingly a sharp soldier who took pride
in his base, the history of the Marine Corp. and in
I can not thank him enough for taking the time to show
me around. I would also like to thank Mr. Cliff
Chappel, a retired Marine veteran who arranged the
However, with all that I just mentioned I have
to say, I could not help but feel even luckier when I
got to meet with Brigadier General Joseph Chaves and
his wife Paulette.
Both exuded elegance and grace and were down to
earth people who made me feel pride to know that our
military has people like that in it and leading our
soldiers. The General was a compassionate man who
cares for this country and his soldiers. I could tell
that when he makes a decision he weighs the options
heavily rather than just making a spontaneously
decision. His soldiers were not just soldiers; they
were his soldiers and this is his country.
His wife is a kind a gentle lady who has just as
much pride in this country as he did. She was just as
compassionate as the General was about the soldiers
under his command.
I can not thank them enough for taking the time
to meet with me. It seems to me I just babbled on
through our entire time together, but how often do you
get to see a Brigadier General never mind meet with
one. I apologize to both if I talked their ears off.
Both taught me so much and I thank them profusely. It
is my sincere hope to keep in touch with them and meet
with them again some day.
Last but not least, I was quite proud and
surprised when on my flight over to Hawaii, a soldier
sat down in the seat next to me. After thanking him
for his service, I found out that he had just returned
for the Gulf not long before the trip and was
transferring to his new base in Hawaii. When I asked
him if he had ever heard of OCR when he was in the
Gulf he responded by saying not only that he had, but
that his unit was one of the ones that had gotten
comics from OCR. Seems he was with the 42nd, which we
shipped to a while back. He was very thankful as were
we; and I told him just that!
Until next time,