FAIRFIELD — The newspaper that has given American service members around the world the news and information they needed since World War II has arrived in Solano County.
Retired Army Lt. Gerry Rangel of Vacaville, who read the paper through two tours in Vietnam, called it “the one publication we could be assured we could get our hands on no matter where we were located.”
“And it’s nice to know that, as a retiree, that I can now get it here,” Rangel said.
Starting Thursday, Stars and Stripes will be published weekly for this area through the Daily Republic and will be available on Travis Air Force Base, at area Veterans Affairs facilities and select locations in the community.
“They will be getting original military news and information from around the world,” said Daniel Krause, Stars and Stripes’ U.S. Edition director. “We are thrilled and excited to be standing up our newspaper at Travis and serving our military, and we are excited about our partnership working with the Fairfield Daily Republic.”
Retired Air Force Gen. Dale Baumler remembered reading Stars and Stripes, describing it as “where you got the information you needed.”
“It is a good publication and I’d read it,” Baumler said.
Retired Navy veteran Mike Segala read it while he was deployed overseas “and it made you feel at home no matter where you were,” he said.
Air Force Staff Sgt. Pat Harrower of the Travis Public Affairs Office called it “a great opportunity to have one more avenue to inform our active duty, (National) Guard, reserves, retirees and their families about military issues.”
“It has been a reputable news source for those who were overseas,” Harrower said.
Stars and Stripes was born in 1861 when it was published briefly by Union troops. It returned during World War I and again during World War II. It has published continually ever since with its reporters serving beside American service members in Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. It now covers more than 40 countries where U.S. military members are serving.
Its mission of providing independent news and information to the military community, established during World War II, continues to this day.
“Our core mission is to follow the troops downrange, most recently to the Middle East and Afghanistan,” Krause said.
It has been distributed at military facilities in Europe, the Pacific and the Middle East wherever American troops are serving and, since May 2004, has been offering its digital edition at stripes.com. All editions are now available as downloads.
Stars and Stripes started offering smartphone apps in 2012 and launched its tablet edition for iPad in early 2013.
On any given day, the average daily readership for Stars and Stripes’ news and information is about 600,000.
Up to about five years ago, Stars and Stripes didn’t publish in the U.S., until its publishers decided it wanted to reach its military readership here and give them the same news and information that overseas service members had long enjoyed.
To generate the funding needed, “we came up with the idea to form business partnerships with newspapers such as the Daily Republic to get the job done.”
“We are now standing up various partnerships around the country to serve all of America’s men and women in uniform and their families,” Krause said. “We also see the mission as extending to government civilians and contractors, and certainly to veterans and retirees.”
The first stateside edition was started in 2009 in Washington, D.C., “and it has been received well by our readers and advertisers,” Krause said. The stateside Stars and Stripes edition is now serving 27 military installations and adjacent communities across the country.
Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ithompsondr.