Vertis Communications, a results-driven marketing communications company that delivers inventive advertising, direct marketing and interactive solutions to prominent brands across North America, joined forces with Stars and Stripes, an independent news and information source for the U.S. military community, to print and distribute “Heroes,” an annual tribute magazine sponsored by Boeing. The publication is delivered by Vertis to U.S. military bases, Department of Defense Dependents Schools around the world and distributed as a special supplement to The Washington Post.
The 32-page full-color supplement, written by Stars and Stripes editorial staff, features stories of the bravery and sacrifice of our nation’s Armed Forces. Stars and Stripes has an average daily readership of 435,000 between its print and online newspaper editions and its numerous special supplements, and “Heroes” is the most widely distributed of its special supplements, with more than 1.6 million copies circulated in 2011. Since 2009, Vertis has printed and delivered the publication to nearly 5 million readers.
“‘Heroes’ is the most widely read piece we produce each year, because it tells compelling stories of our service members who receive awards each year for valor. Stars and Stripes publishes ‘Heroes’ for a wide audience who otherwise may never hear about the courage and sacrifice of our airmen, sailors, soldiers and Marines,” said Max Lederer, Jr., Stars and Stripes publisher. Marie Woods, Director of Creative Services for Stars and Stripes, adds, “Every year Vertis shows great enthusiasm for the project and delivers a high-quality publication that really helps us provide these heroes with some of the recognition they deserve.”
Among the soldiers profiled in “Heroes” is Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. 1st Class Leroy Petry, a 31-year-old Army Ranger who was shot in both legs and lost part of his arm after grabbing a live enemy grenade to protect his fellow soldiers on the battlefield in Afghanistan. Petry previously was awarded two Bronze Stars and three Army Commendation Medals for service in Iraq and Afghanistan. Petry, who is only the second living recipient of the medal from current wars, will receive the Medal of Honor today at a White House ceremony.
Inspired by “Heroes,” Vertis published its own tribute to nearly 50 of the company’s active duty and reserve employees and family members. Vertis employees from 22 company locations submitted photos of and tributes to loved ones and colleagues serving in the military.
“Vertis feels a very deep commitment to our nation’s Armed Forces, because our own employees and their family members are making sacrifices on the front lines to defend our freedom,” said Gerald Sokol Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer, Interim, for Vertis Communications. “Our work with Stars and Stripes motivated us to honor our own heroes with a publication that will enable our employees to see what an influence the military has on all of us personally.”