The Most Dangerous Paper Route in the World

 

Stars and Stripes, which dates back to the Civil War, has published continuously since World War II. In 2010, the paper won a prestigious George Polk Award for revealing the Defense Department’s use of a public relations firm that profiled reporters and steered them toward favorable coverage of the war in Afghanistan. In 2015, the publication broke the news that NBC anchor Brian Williams had exaggerated a story about his reporting in Iraq. Much of the day-to-day coverage is news of direct concern to service members and their families: pay and benefits, life on base and in the field, the real people behind the global geopolitics.

Central Command Area of Responsibility (Apr. 4, 2003) — Command Sgt. Maj. John Sparks, delivers copies of Stars and Stripes to U.S. Marines from Weapons Platoon, 3-2 India Company. The Marines are part of Task Force Tarawa, deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. USMC photo by 1st Sgt. David K. Dismukes.

The paper is a modern multimedia operation with a website, a social media presence and a couple of podcasts, and the print edition reaches troops in parts of the world where Internet access is absent.

“I remember being in al-Anbar and Haditha and picking up Stars and Stripes in the middle of a war zone,” says Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.), one of Moulton’s committee colleagues and a fellow Marine veteran. “I didn’t have a cellphone.  Access to the Internet was very limited. But with every mail delivery there came a Stars and Stripes, and I was able to keep connected to the world.”

“Stars and Stripes kept our spirits up and kept us informed at some of the most difficult times,” says Moulton, who served four tours of duty in Iraq. “Just knowing they were out there doing their job — looking out for us by doggedly pursuing the truth — gave us more faith in our work and reinforced the values we were literally putting our lives on the line for.”

The paper’s publisher, Max Lederer, said, “You can give a service member the best gun in the world, but if his mind is elsewhere — if he’s worried about things at home — then he’s not going to be as good a soldier, and part of our role is to provide that information to give him a sense of comfort.”

Bill Mauldin

“This service cannot be duplicated in the private sector and should be maintained,” Thornberry said in a statement to The Post. “Ultimately, ‘Stripes’ should be preserved, but the business model will have to change so that the program can be maintained without taxing DOD resources.” But Thornberry concedes the fundamental point: “Stars and Stripes performs a useful function for men and women in uniform, particularly those who are forward deployed with limited access to news.” As Gates puts it, “Nobody else covers the Defense Department schools in Japan.”

Star and Stripes faces challenges, and rewards, every day in producing a newspaper for hundreds of thousands of service members, their families and other DoD employees deployed around the world, and in delivering that paper to its readers, including those in dangerous war and contingency areas.

1945 Stars & Stripes

Stripes’ allegiance to independent news – uncensored by military command influence – has established a unique, trusting relationship between the paper and its readers that is like no other. Readers trust Stripes to tell the truth, even though it has the conflicting challenge of delivering First Amendment-protected news while technically part of the Department of Defense.

If you wish to contact Stars & Stripes – Click Here!

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Military Humor – Stars & Stripes style – 

CLICK ON IMAGES TO ENLARGE.

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Farewell Salutes – 

Norbert T. Beck – Suffolk, Va; US Army, WWII

Reine Corbeil – MT; US Navy, SeaBee engineer

Iraq

King Dixon – SC; USMC (Ret. 22 y.), Bronze Star / SC football star & coach

E.G. Galarosa – Sta.Magdalena Soraogon, PI; US Army/Philippine Scouts, WWII, POW

Angelo ‘Buck’ Godici – Southington, CT; US Army Air Corps, WWII, ETO

Charles Hogan – Vancouver, CAN; Allied International Service, WWII, PTO

Hugh Moore – Tomahawk, WI; US Navy, WWII, USS Wolverine

Frank E. Petersen Jr. – Topeka, KS; USMC, Korea & Vietnam, LT.General (Ret. 38 y.)

John M. Robertson – Camden, AR; US Air Force, Vietnam, pilot, Colonel (Ret. 23 y.)

Robert Sandona – Rockford, IL; US Navy, WWII, USS James C. Owens

Gerald Winters – Glen Falls, NY; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, Tower Operator

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About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on July 9, 2020, in Current News, First-hand Accounts, Korean War, Post WWII, Vietnam, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 129 Comments.

  1. Wow, Talk about a blast from the past. I remember it oh, so well.I even gave them a couple of pictures I took way back when.that they published.

    I agree, it forms a vital link for soldiers helped keep us in the know. Thanks for the share.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Stars and Stripes have always been synonymous with the American military, they go hand in hand, I recall reading a few copies in Vietnam, they were much sought for by those on the ground and I sincerely believe they were vital for morale as outlined in your post gp. Cheers.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I didn’t know how long Stars & Stripes had been in printing. I remember Dad telling about reading it. He was stationed in Hawaii during Korea. (He always said he got in trouble and was sent there as punishment. Sounds like he and Smitty would have been good co-story tellers.)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Another interesting story showing the massive effort that lies behind putting troops in the field.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I didn’t know the story behind the Stars and Stripes. I will be looking for their stories.

    Like

  6. Wow! I had no idea Stars and Stripes had such a long history.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I didn’t realize The Stars and Stripes had been printed continuously since WWII (love the Bill Mauldin picture!)- thanks for sharing this, and for sharing the link. I see they have the archived papers on the site, too- what a fantastic resource!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Really nice piece. Those of us who have been stationed overseas, or been in combat know it’s value.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And I appreciate every story brought here to this site for just that reason. I have tried to make each post here as factual and free of any opinion as possible.

      Like

  9. Us soldiers appreciate the newspapers. I was at camp Zebra in Iraq. Colin Powell and Dick Cheney stopped-in on a Huey at my re-fuel point. The Huey must be at full stop to be filled. We had cokes and snacks for the waiting people. Colin Powell thank us and he asked what we needed. I told him, newspapers and mail. One month behind. He told me. This won’t be a problem no-more. We received our mail and fresh newspaper almost daily. Both were good men and they knew our names and our history.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. I hope they can maintain funding. You are right, I don’t think this can be duplicated in the private sector.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Lovely post, no idea

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Read with interest, GP, as always. Thank You

    Liked by 2 people

  13. An excellent and informative post, thank you.

    It is of huge importance that men who are risking their own lives, and the stability of their families, should have access to independent news. The cost of funding something so fundamental and so necessary must surely be a single raindrop in the monsoon of defence spending.

    Liked by 2 people

    • This truly is a very important paper. People didn’t think it was necessary because of modern technology, but I think it is of vital importance to have at least one paper without an agenda.

      Like

  14. What an incredible story of survival. I was not aware of this newspaper! Thank you so much for sharing, GP.

    Kind regards, Pat

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Interesting article about a newspaper I knew nothing about. Wonder what a recent edition says about the world today.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Not many people read newspapers anymore. But I sure understand its importance. I read a memoir of a gal who was a Red Cross member who went to the S. Pacific during WW2. She was in charge of creating a newspaper and delivering it. Not an easy task!

    Liked by 3 people

  17. It’s a wonderful tool for reaching out to those who truly need it. Thank you for sharing, GP.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I don’t think I’ve read about the Stars and Stripes since my husband retired from the Navy. It was good to get an update.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Wow, what a paper route, indeed! So, wonderful though!

    And to have something reliable, something to trust, something to count on…especially in difficult places and in difficult times…SO important!!! 🙂 I’m sure those in the military don’t always feel supported, so I’m glad this can help to boost them in spirit.

    Could Stars & Stripes please take over all news coverage?!?!

    (((HUGS))) 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Love the Stars and Stripes – and Bill Mauldin! I have his “Up Front” sitting on my bookshelf and it always gives me a chuckle.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. The blatant violence in some of those images will upset many~!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. That was and is a great idea, even in the internet century. For distraction more than for true information, i think. 😉 Thank you for sharing this, GP! Enjoy the rest of the week. Michael

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Super post, GP. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. Nothing like the paper route I had as a kid!

    Liked by 3 people

  25. I am amazed it still exists. I’m going to see if they have an app so I can stay in touch.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. I don’t think there is anything in any army to compare with the Stars and Stripes. A fitting tribute to a great institution, GP.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. What a fascinating piece of history. I can not believe the DOD would even consider not giving the funding for continuing these important part of the life of a soldier who may have no other means of keeping up with what is happening around the world. We can never do enough to make our military feel good enough, informed enough or loved enough. Great story and God Bless those that deliver The Stars and Strips!!!! Love 💕 Joni

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Sounds as if it would be a good idea if they took over from the rest of the media…apart from them honest coverage seems to be a thing of the past.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. When you are out on the boondocks with no knowledge of what’s going on in the world, the Stars and Stripes must be a welcome psychological boost.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Reblogged this on quirkywritingcorner and commented:
    Fascinating look at something as simple as a newspaper. Great blog. Thank you. ~Connie

    Liked by 2 people

  31. I read it online — the Military is such a vital part of our history — and our future!

    Liked by 2 people

  32. Clearly a valuable publication

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Great post, GP. We used to carry the Stars and Stripes in our MWR libraries (maybe still do).. Did you know that the Stars and Stripes print different editions in each of its field offices? Stars and Stripes maintain three offices: Europe (Kaiserslautern, Germany), Pacific (Tokyo, Japan), and stateside in Washington, D.C. Each office has its own reporters and editors, as well as business and support staff.

    Liked by 2 people

  34. Very interesting – I had no idea they were still going – great stuff!

    Liked by 2 people

  35. If only all newspapers were so.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. A great American newspaper!

    Liked by 4 people

  37. This got me smiling this morning. I used to help my older brother (before he joined the military) with his paper route M-F and he paid me $500 a week. Which felt like a million dollars to a 14yo with zero cash. I believe our allowance was $1 a week at the time. That job was no joke. (And the stories! I could tell them for days) Come what may, you had to deliver the paper. I have never considered how important it would be to have access to a newspaper during tour of duty. Anything and everything helps to maintain a semblance of normalcy. Always eye opening… Thanks GP!

    Liked by 4 people

  38. It’s good to see they can still put a copy in a soldier’s hands, wherever he/she might be.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I’m glad they still get the paper. With not having an agenda like most media, the troops can read what’s actually going on. Plus, stories the media doesn’t feel worthy of getting air-time.

      Liked by 1 person

  39. When soldiers and sailors are deployed and have no cell phone reception they still have The Stars and Stripes- that’s awesome!

    Liked by 4 people

  40. Thank you for sharing this.

    Like

  41. Thank you for sharing, Steve.

    Like

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