Official Press Release
While he's been busy infusing the real-life exploits of America's fighting men during World War II into the world of DC Comics' Easy Company in the pages of Sgt. Rock: The Lost Battalion, apparently the men and women of today's U.S. Army have been appreciating his efforts.
This week, Billy Tucci, the writer-artist of the current six-issue Sgt. Rock project, received a very special post-Christmas present via express mail from Camp Victory in Iraq: a perfectly folded American flag and beautifully framed citation from the United States Army.
The citation accompanying the flag read as follows:
The Flag of the United States of America Is Presented to Billy Tucci.
Thank you for all your Support.
This certifies that the accompanying flag was flown over the Headquarters of the Multi-National Corps - Iraq in your honor during Operation Iraqi Freedom
26 December 2008.
Command Sgt. Major Joseph R. Allen and Lloyd J. Austin III, Lieutenant General, Commanding, also signed the citation.
Spurred by the recent December 5, 2008 article in the Army Times feature on Tucci and Sgt. Rock (which was showcased on the periodical's cover and a full page, color article), the recognition was also helped along by comic book fan Sgt. Desiree Rancon.
"I met Desiree years ago at a comic convention and we've been great friends ever since," Tucci said. "She's a comic fan, but more importantly a great patriot and an American hero serving in Iraq."
Sgt. Rock: The Lost Battalion retells the astounding "last stand" by a small number of trapped US Infantrymen of the 36th Division and their rescue by the American-born Japanese soldiers of the highly decorated 442nd Regimental Combat Team. In addition to DC's famed Sgt. Rock and Easy Company, the events and many of the supporting an incidental characters in the story are based on real life. Veterans of the actual campaign have accompanied Tucci during "Tour of Heroes" signings, giving fans a chance to meet the heroes of the "greatest generation".
"Some readers have no doubt wondered why I included actual units and other military and historical components in this story instead of going for the traditional comic book shoot 'em up," Tucci said. "But I've always known just who I was writing this book for -- the actual veterans of World War 2, their families, and today's sentinels of Liberty, like Desiree. I want them all to know just how thankful I am for their selfless service to our country and their incredible guidance with this series. This honor is much more theirs than mine."
Sgt. Rock: The Lost Battalion #3 is now on sale.