Some in the military brass may have applauded news a few weeks ago that Stars and Stripes, the newspaper circulated worldwide to members of the U.S. armed forces, was being closed.

Stars and Stripes, which actually began publication during the Civil War, did not hit its stride until the 20th century. Part of its popularity was because many in the ranks saw it as their newspaper, which occasionally took shots at “the brass.”

Last month, word began spreading that Stars and Stripes would be shut down. Though the publication operates semi-independently of the Pentagon, it relies on federal funding.

News of the plan to kill Stars and Stripes resulted in a storm of outrage. Even President Donald Trump, on whose doorstep some tried to lay blame for the closure, joined in. Last week, he tweeted that the paper would “continue to be a wonderful source of information to our Great Military!”

Then, word came that the Defense Department had rescinded its order that Stars and Stripes be shut down.

Especially annoying is the Pentagon’s excuse for attempting to kill the paper. Its chosen method was to cut the $15.5 million in annual federal funding for Stars and Stripes. Economizing, you know.

Many in the military and those who have served have colorful terms for such claims. We’ll settle for baloney.

Fifteen and a half million dollars is chicken feed in Washington. Saving money had nothing to do with why someone attempted to shut down Stars and Stripes.

Good for the Pentagon’s public relations experts for recognizing a disaster in the making. Rest assure PR, not some general’s or admiral’s desire to keep serving those in the ranks, gets credit for the decision being reversed.

Let us hope it never, ever resurfaces.

(3) comments


It should also be noted that the Stars and Stripes was and probably still is the only source of printed news focused on military personal, spouses, and brats who are stationed overseas. Perhaps it is now an online only paper -- I do not know -- but it would still serve the same people.

Hopefully Armed Forces Radio, or if you prefer, the American Forces Network (and later, Armed Forces Radio and Television Service) is still operating. Sitting by the radio in a German village as a kid listening to Johnny Dollar, Gunsmoke, Have Gun Will Travel, The Shadow, Jack Benny, Life of Riley, and all the Christmas specials was kind of cool.


Paladin, Paladin, where do you roam...


A knight without armor in a savage land...


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