Service & Sacrifice: Bravery and Brilliance

A snapshot of the burdens U.S. troops and their families are shouldering around the globe.

A MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter departs the flight deck of the guided-missile destroyer USS Laboon in the Red Sea on April 6, 2024.

By Tom Sileo Published on April 12, 2024

Middle East

The Houthi terrorist organization is launching new attacks from Yemen that are directly targeting U.S. military and commercial ships.

On Wednesday alone, American forces destroyed 11 Houthi drones. Three were launched out of Yemen toward the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea before being shot down; the other eight were taken out inside Yemen by American fighter jets, according to U.S. Central Command.

An even more dangerous scenario played out a day earlier, when Houthis targeted an American ship, the MV Yorktown. Fortunately, the anti-ship ballistic missile the Houthis fired — which was deemed an “imminent threat” by the military — was shot down by the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Mason before it could do any damage. We thank every sailor aboard that warship for their bravery and brilliance.

The Houthi attack not only put everyone aboard the MV Yorktown in danger, but also the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Laboon, which U.S. Central Command said was escorting the ship through the Gulf of Aden. Reuters reported that the Houthis took responsibility for the attack and also claimed to have fired on three additional ships.

A week ago, The Stream called out the Biden administration in this space for inexplicably considering repeating a mistake it first made in 2021: removing the terrorist group designation from the Houthis. Why any administration would even consider such a move while American lives are in danger is almost beyond imagination.

Add in the fact that the Houthis are backed by Iran — which is openly threatening to attack Israeli and U.S. forces in response to a group of terrorists being killed in Syria — and it further underscores that such a decision would be nothing short of a dereliction of duty by the White House.

Please pray for all members of the U.S. military serving in the Middle East. Every day, they risk their lives to confront terrorism and evil.

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Europe

The U.S. military’s footprint in Europe could increase further in the years to come, according to a new report by Defense News.

More than 20,000 U.S. troops were “surged” to Eastern Europe when Russia invaded Ukraine more than two years ago. With over 100,000 American service members now stationed on the continent, military leaders appear ready to send even more if the Russia threat keeps growing.

“In the immediate aftermath of the invasion, NATO took the decision to establish new battlegroups on a standing basis,” Gen. Christopher Cavoli told the House Armed Services Committee this week, as quoted by Defense News. “By design, they can all go up to brigade size at a time of need. And a number of nations have already elected to go up to that.”

Meanwhile, thousands of U.S. military personnel are participating in a large NATO training event that kicked off earlier this week in Germany and Poland. The exercise is called Saber Strike 24.

“The purpose of Saber Strike is to project combat power into the Baltic region,” said U.S. Army Maj. Brian Hausle. “And the way we’ll do that this year is by moving the entire regiment from Vilseck, Germany, to Bewomo Piskie, Poland, and then project that squadron task force north to Pabrade, Lithuania.”

Saber Strike is part of an even larger training exercise called Defender Europe, which started earlier this month and will continue through the end of May. It involves more than 40,000 troops from 20 countries, including 17,000 from the U.S. military alone.

A wider war in Europe could break out at any moment, so please keep all of our country’s brave men and women in uniform serving there in your prayers, as well as their families.

Coming Home

A group of U.S. airmen recently returned to American soil after completing a deployment to Kaden Air Base in Okinawa, Japan.

Military Welcome Home

U.S. Air Force airmen return home from a deployment to Okinawa, Japan, at Eielson Air Force Base in Alaska on April 5, 2024.

Welcome home, warriors! Thank you for serving our country overseas and enjoy this time with your families.

 

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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