Mauldin drew his well known and popular soldiers, Willie and Joe, at the bottom of the typed letter to him. Using artist's pencil, he sketched both GI buddies bust length with caption and signature. "'Willie' for Guy, Bill Mauldin," and "'Joe' for Kerry, Bill Mauldin." At the top of the page in blue artist's pencil he replies to the father whose sons included military drawings for Mauldin to critique. "Tell the boys they made good drawings of mechanized warfare, but not enough infantry...." He signs this note, "BM."
Mauldin sketched his famous GI's while he worked at the St. Louis Dispatch as head cartoonist. Willie and Joe were two of the most popular cartoon characters of World War ll, conveying the war from the point of view of the soldier. The GI buddies debuted in the military newspaper, "The Stars and Stripes" and were featured in Mauldin's subsequent books, "Up Front" and "Back Home." In 1945, he received his first Pulitzer Prizes for his overall wartime body of work. Mauldin received a second Pulitzer Prize for "Weeping Lincoln," his renown sketch of Abraham Lincoln seated in the Memorial statue with head bowed in sorrow after JFK's assassination. This heartbreaking cartoon was published in the Chicago Sun-Times Newspaper - November 23, 1963.