At the end of the 1954 film The Bridges at Toko-Ri, based on James Michener’s novel about combat in Korea, two downed American fliers are trapped in a ditch and killed by Communist soldiers, and the narrator poses an elegiac question: “Where do we get such men?” Where does this, or any, nation find citizen-soldiers willing to go in harm’s way, knowing they face the probability of an early death? The simple answer is, anywhere, and nowhere in particular. True heroes, men of valor, can come from Maryland, Colorado, Hawaii or anyplace in between. There is simply no factor, geographic or otherwise, that can predict which soldier will rise to a life-or-death occasion, will behave with such extraordinary bravery, such disregard for the mortal consequences of his actions, that the rest of us, their countrymen, can only award them a medal and shake our heads in wonder.
At Military History we considered ways to honor such heroes—some of whose deeds are well-known—and have decided with this issue to publish a department devoted to telling the stories of actions that separate “such men” from the rest. You’ll find it on P. 19, and we call it “Valor,” in deference to a word inscribed on some U.S. Medals of Honor. As such extraordinary behavior knows no national boundary or particular age, we’ll also highlight the recipients of similar medals, such as the Victoria Cross, the Légion d’honneur, the Medal of Valor and others. Such stories bear repeating, as they never really lose their luster or inspirational significance.
Beginning with this issue, Military History is changing its frequency from 10 times per year to six. In the last year we have increased the size of the magazine dramatically, both in page dimensions and in number of editorial pages.
We have also more than doubled our editorial and art budgets—and we increased the size and quality of our staff. We are dedicated to making each issue of Military History better than the one that preceded it, and the frequency change will allow us to concentrate increased resources on an even better package of extraordinary information and entertaining features. The expiration date of your subscription will not change. If you have any questions or concerns about your subscription, please call 1-800-829-3340.