Crossing New Battlefields
The war was over, the battles won and Private Joseph Plum Martin was a bit surprised by his own reaction to the news that he was going home. “I confess, after all, that my anticipation of the happiness I should experience upon such a day as this was not realized; I can assure the reader that there was as much sorrow as joy transfused on the occasion. We had lived together as a family of brothers for several years, setting aside some little family squabbles, like most other families, had shared with each other the hardships, dangers and sufferings incident to a soldier’s life….”
World War II and the American Revolution share equal amounts of shelf space in my library, and it was Martin’s Revolutionary War account of leaving his comrades after eight years that immediately sprang to mind when I made the difficult decision to step down as editor of World War II Magazine to pursue an exciting new opportunity. I make no claim to have suffered and endured like Martin during battles stretching from Long Island, Valley Forge and finally to Yorktown, but I know that I have learned a great deal more about the “dangers and sufferings” of a soldier’s life during World War II while working on this magazine.
In reality, my next venture will not be all that different from the publication I have been privileged to work on for the past eight years. Like World War II, my new endeavor— G-2 Associates, LLC—gives me a golden opportunity to study the battlefields of that epic conflict in depth and explore ways we can apply the experiences of those who fought there to how we live today. More often than not I will find myself tromping across venerable old battlefields with veterans and guests rather than sitting behind a desk, which will only enhance my quest for greater knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the war. In between taking groups to Europe and filming veterans at the spots where they made history, I look forward to completing several book projects that have remained dormant for far too many years and writing the occasional article.
Although it may seem a bit strange to say this about a history magazine, the one constant of my time with World War II has been change. This is as it should be. In recent years, our readers have seen new departments, increased frequency of publication, better art and photography and, most important, greater variety and scholarship in the articles. Many more exciting changes are in store for World War II in the months ahead as the magazine continues to evolve and grow.
I want to close my time with America’s leading World War II publication by thanking each and every one of you who, over the years, has provided me with stories, letters, compliments and corrections. I learned a great deal from all of you and hope this will continue as new insights appear in the pages of the magazine.
My last words, however, are for the veterans. The opportunity to work with many of you on first-person accounts or to discuss your experiences during the war has been an honor and a delight. I sincerely hope that my efforts while editor of this magazine have served as a small payment on a debt that can never truly be repaid.
Originally published in the February 2007 issue of World War II Magazine. To subscribe, click here.