The New Action Heroes
In a time of war, the Army finds innovative ways to promote its warriors
The figurines may be controversial with some parents uncomfortable with both the glorification of war and the recruiting message. But Bruce Norton, a retired Marine Corps major and the author of the Encyclopedia of American War Heroes, says he hopes the action figures prompt more discussion among young people. "We try to guard ourselves, our children, and families; we try not to glorify combat," he says. "But we need to talk about what it takes to get the job done."
There are some details Sgt. 1st Class Gerald Wolford won't discuss about the four-hour fight to secure three crossings over the Euphrates River that earned him the Silver Star and a place in the action figure lineup. But he feels it is important to tell his story of how he and his men battled against Saddam Hussein's militia. "This helps Americans realize there are people doing amazing things right now," Wolford says. "It's not just Audie Murphy 60 years ago."