Stars and Stripes "Heroes" Reveals the Bravery, Sacrifice and Loss Behind U.S. Military Awards for Valor

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For the military men and women who wake up today in Afghanistan, the task is to complete the mission and move one day closer to going home. But sometimes even the simplest mission demands extraordinary courage — and the stories of these brave actions are recounted by Stars and Stripes in the 9th annual publication of "Heroes."

Stars and Stripes HEROES 2013

HEROES featues the stories of American military men and women who have been awarded for valor.

‘Heroes’ relates the experience of a few warfighters, who stand as surrogates for thousands of others whose valor is equally inspiring

Members of the U.S. Armed Forces come from big cities, farms, small towns, even other countries. Less than one-half of one percent of America’s population serves in today’s military, yet they represent the diversity of race, religion, ethnicity and profession that makes America great. If their numbers are few, their tasks are plentiful and the risks they face are great. The actions of these young military men and women, who ignore their own peril to save others from harm, seem commonplace to them — but to everyone else they are no less than extraordinary.

These remarkable individuals, who have been awarded a medal for valor, are the subject of “Heroes,” published by Stars and Stars and Stripes, the military’s independent source for news and information, in partnership with the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation and The Boeing Company. Now in its ninth edition, “Heroes” begins distribution of 1.637 million copies on June 14th (Flag Day) in honor of the many soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who have been recognized for valor in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“By telling these stories of extraordinary valor by a few, ‘Heroes’ seeks to honor and express gratitude to all those who serve in the country’s uniform, men and women who along with their families routinely make sacrifices and endure hardships for the sake of all Americans,” said Terry Leonard, Stars and Stripes editorial director.

Publisher Max D. Lederer Jr., said, “This is the 9th year for the publication of ‘Heroes,’ an annual tribute to the men and women who serve in the Armed Forces. While the number of personnel actively participating in the conflicts has reduced the danger, the acts of heroism remain undiminished. Stars and Stripes is privileged to continue telling a few stories of the many who serve with remarkable courage and a degree of self-sacrifice few of us will ever know.”

“In partnership with the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation, Stars and Stripes ‘Heroes’ relates the experience of a few warfighters, who stand as surrogates for thousands of others whose valor is equally inspiring. It is important that all Americans understand the daily sacrifice of our men and women. By telling the story of the U.S. military, Stars and Stripes helps to ensure these brave men and women will not be forgotten. ‘Heroes’ is a salute to the honor and dedication of our military men and women,” Lederer continued.

“Heroes” was published overseas in the Stars and Stripes newspapers distributed in Europe, Pacific, Middle East and Southwest Asia on June 14. Thanks to support from The Boeing Company, “Heroes” will also be distributed through military base newspapers in the United States and also through Department of Defense schools located stateside and abroad. Delivery to key outlets in the nation’s capital will include Capitol Hill, where House and Senate members will receive a number of hand-delivered copies, throughout the K Street “power corridor” and business community, and in The Washington Post.

Following its publication in print, additional multimedia content and an enhanced version of “Heroes” will be available online at the Stars and Stripes website,

About Stars and Stripes

Stars and Stripes reports on military matters to the global U.S. military community. It is the only independent source for news and information operating from inside the U.S. Department of Defense. Editorially independent of any outside interference and influence, Stars and Stripes provides commercially available U.S. and world news and objective, factual staff-produced stories relevant to the military community it serves.

In addition to providing news in print, Stars and Stripes offers its unique reporting on, through its Tablet Edition app and smartphone apps for iPhone and Android, and through subscription to free email newsletters.

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Margaret Irish
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