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Stars and Stripes to print locally, expand readership

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For more than 150 years, Stars and Stripes has been delivering pertinent news to the military community and served as the primary news source for Servicemembers downrange.   And, that history continues here in the South Sound next month when a weekly U.S. edition of the paper starts distribution May 2, 2013.

Appropriately enough, it was Soldiers in Bloomfield, Missouri who created the newspaper during the Civil War when they found an empty newspaper office and began to print up their own paper about their activities, bestowing it with the patriotic name of Stars and Stripes.

Following the war, the paper ceased publication, but then re-emerged during World War I to keep the military overseas informed; that cycle continued after the conclusion of WWI and with the outbreak of WWII. Since WWII, however, the paper has been published continuously on a daily basis and now reaches an estimated 350,000 readers with every edition.

"Our core mission has been to follow the troops wherever they deploy, from Korea to Vietnam to the Middle East," explained Daniel Krause, U.S. Edition Director for Stars and Stripes.

Then, seven years ago, Stars and Stripes management began to realize that they were unable to reach the Servicemembers who were stationed CONUS.

"Our goal is to expand across the continental United States and serve as many of America's military as possible," Krause said. "Our core audience is active duty military and their families, but we are also interested in military civilians, DoD civilians and the growing veteran population. Reaching all of these groups is important and we try to cover a wide variety of topics that appeal to

Over the last four years, they have added distribution channels in areas with major installation and large military populations, like Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Alaska; they are poised to launch in San Diego and Tampa in the near future, but next month, the focus is on the South Puget Sound area.  Swarner Communications, publishers of The Ranger, NW Airlifter and the Weekly Volcano newspapers, as well as, and JBLM Spouses and Singles magazines, will add the local Stars & Stripes to their publishing family.

"We are thrilled to bring a newspaper with such a storied past and bright future to the local area," said Ken Swarner, co-publisher. 

Readers will find the weekly edition of Stars & Stripes inside The Ranger and NW Airlifter beginning May 2, as well as in racks and boxes throughout the local area.

Stars and Stripes is authorized by Congress and the Department of Defense to produce an independent daily military news source, which makes it unique among military publications. Of all of the other entities encompassed by the Defense Media Activity - like the Armed Forces Network, for example - only Stars and Stripes maintains complete editorial independence.

"We are proud of that part of our mission because we feel that if the military are fighting for the Constitution then they deserve a newspaper that operates under that same Constitution," Krause explained. "That is what sets our publication apart - we are not generated or controlled by any military Public Affairs directive."  

The first issue of the Stars and Stripes in the South Sound area wil be published, in a 16-page tabloid style, on a weekly basis moving forward. The local edition will also be available online at

Do you have a personal story regarding Starts & Stripes to tell?  Or, do you have an old edition of Stars & Stripes with a story and/or photo of you in it?  Please email this information to to be part of an upcoming promotion - a reporter will be in contact with you.

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