The Friedrich-Ayers-Severin team began in earnest, however, with #45 (Aug. 1967), the first of what would be several of the series' "The" stories: "The War Lover," a shaded exploration of a trigger-happy soldier and the line drawn, even in war, between killing and murder. Daring for the time, when majority public sentiment still supported the undeclared Vietnam War, the story balanced present-day issues while demonstrating that even in what is referred to as "a just war", a larger morality prevails.
As one writer in the 1970s observed,
...Sgt. Fury #45 took a firm moralistic stance for the rest of the series by premiering what would become one of the most acclaimed series of stories in comics: the Gary Friedich "The" series, beginning with "The War Lover". ... Future stories in that fashion — all but one written by Friedrich — would center on what war could do to "The Assassin" (#51), the tragedy of a man turned hired liquidator, his family held hostage by Hitler's Gestapo; "The Informer" (#57), an observation on loyalty and trust, staged in a German P.O.W. camp; "The Peacemonger" (#64) [about a World War II conscientious objector]; "The Deserter" (#75), an allusion to the real-life execution of Private Eddie Slovik; "The All-American" (#81), Al Kurzrok's tale of a man [caught] between the twin microcosms of sport and war; and ultimately, "The Reporter" (#110), an account of a journalist faced with the [question of] when might a human life be forfeit? Many feel, also, that #46's tale, "They Also Serve", should be included ... for that story might as easily have been called "The Medic"....