Mercury Excellence AwardsON PATROL, the magazine of the USO, is entering its second year of publication.  The quarterly magazine, which is distributed to more than 300,000 readers, features stories of inspiration and sacrifice.

We were recently notified that ON PATROL received three prestigious communication’s honors from MERCURY Excellence Awards. This year’s competition featured around 700 entries in 20 categories from 21 countries across the world.

ON PATROL earned a gold medal in the magazine category for military support organizations; a silver medal in the magazine writing category; and a bronze medal for design.

From the beginning, ON PATROL has garnered admiration from its readers.

The magazine continues to feature outstanding writers, who contribute on a range of subjects from the special facial reconstruction efforts performed by a plastic surgeon in California to a description of golf analyst David Feherty’s “Inspiring Explosive Days,” giving wounded warriors a chance to golf with professionals, participate in long bicycle rides or hunt together.

On Patrol Summer 2009The magazine also inspired. The Summer 2009 cover featured a note from LT “J” a Navy SEAL who had been seriously wounded in battle. Unable to talk, he had penned a letter from his hospital bed, and his wife displayed the message prominently on his room door.

“If you are coming into this room with sorrow or to feel sorry for my wounds, GO ELSEWHERE,” the note reads in part. “The wounds I received, I got in a job I love, doing it for people I love, supporting the freedom of a country I deeply love.”

And readers responded.

“I would like permission to send a copy of that letter to my friends in order to heighten their awareness of who is keeping them free and the attitudes of those who have sacrificed for them,” Claudia Thomas wrote.

ON PATROL also received feedback from the field. Chaplains in Balad are using the magazine in devotionals, while troops in Afghanistan are sending us updates from the front lines.

We’re extremely proud of the progress made by ON PATROL in its inaugural year, and we look forward to bringing more outstanding stories to you in the future.

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