Fedcap honors Stephens Media series on military

NEW YORK – “Saluting American Valor,” a series of stories published by Stephens Media that detailed the actions of U.S. service members decorated for combat heroism in Iraq and Afghanistan, has been awarded a prize for achievement.

The 54-part newspaper series, which was accompanied by an interactive website and a follow-up book, has been designated for the Fedcap 2012 Excellence in Media Award.

Fedcap is a New York-based nonprofit that provides education, vocational training and work placement for returning veterans and others facing job challenges.

Warren Stephens, president and chief executive officer of Stephens Inc., was scheduled to accept the award at Fedcap’s annual dinner Monday night at the New York Public Library.

The “Saluting American Valor” series ran in 11 daily Stephens Media newspapers and in the company’s weekly papers from Nov. 8, 2009, through the end of that year and then monthly through 2010.

It told the stories of service members who were recognized for valor during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

As well as detailing heroic exploits, the series dealt with issues of post-traumatic stress and rehabilitation from battle injuries.

“I feel the American Valor series just scratched the surface in bringing attention to the ‘heroes among us’ in the American military today,” Stephens said. “I am grateful that Stephens Media has been recognized by the Fedcap organization for ‘excellence in media’ but I am especially grateful for the men and women in uniform who serve our country.”

In the series introduction, Stephens wrote its intent was to shine a light on extraordinary actions by U.S. men and women at war who are often overlooked on the homefront.

“All have left the safety of home and family, often more than once, to serve their family with distinction,” he wrote. “Some have seen the horrors of both (Iraq and Afghanistan). But all, in their moment of truth, displayed a selfless bravery in combat that most simply cannot comprehend.”

The stories are collected at www.americanvalor.net, which also features additional photos, maps and audio of soldiers describing their experiences. A compilation book, “Saluting American Valor,” was published in 2010 by Stephens Press.

Also recognized by Fedcap on Monday were retired Gen. Montgomery C. Meigs, president and chief executive officer of Business Executives for National Security; Brenda Donald, director of the Child and Family Services Agency of Washington D.C.; and the New York Yankees, for service in the community.

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