Service & Sacrifice: Answering the Call

A snapshot of the burdens being shouldered by brave U.S. troops and military families around the world.

U.S. Navy sailors from the guided-missile destroyer USS Mason conduct bilateral training with Japanese sailors in the Gulf of Aden on November 25, 2023.

By Tom Sileo Published on December 15, 2023

Middle East

As bizarre dance videos are filmed at the White House, brave American military forces are busy battling terrorists in the Middle East.

On Wednesday, Iran-backed Houthi terrorists attacked an oil and chemical tanker off the coast of Yemen. When the U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Mason arrived to help stop hijackers from boarding the ship, “a pair of missiles were fired from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen at the vessel, which both missed,” according to U.S. Central Command.

“While responding to the distress call, the Mason shot down an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) also launched from Houthi-controlled areas,” CENTCOM said in a statement. “The UAV was heading directly towards the Mason and was shot down in self-defense.”

Thankfully, there have been no reports of injuries to the valiant sailors who responded to the attacks.

As the USS Mason fought the Houthis on Wednesday, two more attacks were launched by Iranian-backed terrorist proxies at U.S. troops stationed at the Middle East. POLITICO’s Lara Seligman reported that the two attacks brought the total number of strikes against American troops to 94 since October 17, when U.S. forces began being targeted amid Israel’s war against Hamas.

As I wrote last week on The Stream, the Biden administration’s severely limited response to these 90-plus attacks is putting our nation’s men and women in uniform in much greater danger. While it’s rational to try to prevent a wider war in the Middle East from breaking out, that policy cannot come at the expense of the troops who the president himself deployed to the region to fight ISIS and other terrorist groups.

“Terrorism, including political and ideological violence, is the opposite of all we stand for as a nation that settles our differences peacefully under the rule of law. We’re going to continue to track terrorist threats in all forms wherever it may be. We’re going to continue to disrupt terrorist activity wherever we may find it, and I will never hesitate to do what is necessary to defend the American people – just as I will never forget our sacred duty to those of you who serve.”

Those words were spoken by President Joe Biden on September 11, 2023 — the 22nd anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. As of today, the commander-in-chief is not living up to his promise to protect our military. It’s time for the president to put politics aside, step up and take more action.

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One U.S. Marine was killed and more than a dozen injured during a tragic military training accident this week in California.

According to an official Marine Corps statement, the December 12 “rollover occurred at around 6 p.m. local time as the vehicle was making a ground movement during training” at Camp Pendleton.

“Fourteen other Marines were in the Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) at the time and were taken to local hospitals and Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton for evaluation and treatment,” the statement added.

Please say a prayer for these 14 injured Marines and for the fallen hero’s loved ones. We ask God to comfort this military family during this time of unimaginable pain and grief.

Coming Home

Just in time for the holidays, U.S. Navy sailors wrapped up a deployment on the fast-attack submarine USS South Dakota this week and came home to Connecticut.

Military Homecoming

A U.S. Navy crewmember serving aboard the USS South Dakota embraces his family during a homecoming event in Groton, Connecticut., on December 12, 2023.

Welcome home, heroes! Thank you for your service and we hope you and your families have a very Merry Christmas.


Tom Sileo is a contributing senior editor of The Stream. He is the author of the forthcoming I Have Your Back, the recently released Be Bold and co-author of Three Wise MenBrothers Forever8 Seconds of Courage and Fire in My Eyes. Follow Tom on X @TSileo and The Stream at @Streamdotorg.

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