Service & Sacrifice: ‘Engage & Destroy’

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

U.S. Navy sailors watch an F/A-18E Super Hornet land on the flight deck aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Red Sea on March 12, 2024.

By Tom Sileo Published on March 15, 2024

Middle East

With attacks against the U.S. military now slowing in Syria and Iraq, the Iran-backed Houthi terrorist group based in Yemen has emerged as the biggest threat to American troops serving in the Middle East.

On Wednesday, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) announced that terrorists “fired one anti-ship ballistic missile” into the Gulf of Aden. Thankfully, no deaths, injuries, or damage were reported. Also on Wednesday, the U.S. military “successfully engaged and destroyed four unmanned aerial systems (UAVs) and one surface-to-air missile in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen.”

A day earlier, the Houthis fired a close-range ballistic missile toward the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Laboon in the Red Sea and missed. The same day, U.S. and coalition warships “engaged and destroyed two unmanned aerial systems (UAS) launched from a Houthi-controlled area of Yemen.”

With the U.S. military clearly at war with the Houthis, the Financial Times reports that “the U.S. has held secret talks with Iran this year in a bid to convince Tehran to use its influence over Yemen’s Houthi movement to end attacks on ships in the Red Sea, according to U.S. and Iranian officials.”

As retired CIA senior officer Marc Polymeropoulos posted on X, the Biden administration’s attempt to convince Iran to rein in Houthi terrorists “doesn’t seem to have worked all that well.”

In Gaza, U.S. military humanitarian airdrops are helping civilians caught in the crossfire of Israel’s ongoing response to the vicious October 7 Hamas terrorist attack. As of this writing, the latest airdrop was conducted on Wednesday.

“The joint operation included two C-130s and one C-17 Globemaster III U.S. Air Force aircraft, and U.S. Army soldiers specialized in aerial delivery of U.S. humanitarian assistance supplies,” CENTCOM said in a press release. “U.S. C-17 and C-130s dropped over 35,712 U.S. meal equivalents and 28,800 bottles of water into Northern Gaza, an area of great need, allowing for civilian access to the critical aid. ”

With the Biden administration ordering the construction of a temporary port on Gaza’s coast to deliver additional humanitarian aid, U.S. military involvement in the Middle East is deepening. Please pray for all of our nation’s men and women in uniform serving in the region, as well as their families here at home.

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The U.S. military is also on the ground in Haiti, which has descended into chaos driven largely by out-of-control gang violence.

According to U.S. Southern Command, a U.S. Marine Fleet-Anti-terrorism Security Team (FAST) deployed to “maintain strong security capabilities at the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and conduct relief in place for our current Marines, a common and routine practice worldwide — and allow additional non-emergency personnel to depart.”

“The U.S. Embassy remains open, and limited operations continue,” said U.S. Southern Command, which later added that it is “prepared with a wide range of contingency plans to ensure the safety and security of U.S. citizens in Haiti.”

As Task & Purpose explains,  “FAST teams are trained in basic security measures like personnel and car searches, but also train to respond to and repel active attacks, from rowdy, unplanned mob scenes to deliberate so-called ‘complex’ attacks. FAST teams also have snipers trained in counter-sniper tactics and explosive ordinance disposal experts.”

Please pray for all U.S. citizens and military personnel in Haiti.

Coming Home

Almost 100 Rhode Island National Guard soldiers returned home to about 300 overjoyed military family members last weekend after completing a ten-month deployment to Kosovo.

Rhode Island Military Homecoming

Nearly 100 National Guard soldiers are welcomed home to Warwick, Rhode Island, on March 9, 2024.

Welcome home, heroes! We thank you and your loved ones for sacrificing so much on behalf of our nation.


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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