Service & Sacrifice: Facing Danger

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

U.S. and coalition troops speak to Syrian medical students in the al-Hasakah province of Syria on May 6, 2023.

By Tom Sileo Published on May 12, 2023

Middle East

For the past eight-plus years, The Stream has been reporting on the sacrifices still being made by our nation’s military heroes. Every day, these brave men and women in uniform face enormous danger; not only from terrorist groups, but rogue regimes hellbent on killing Americans.

This week, The Washington Post reported that Iran stooped to a disgraceful new low by hiding weapons and other military equipment in aid shipments that were supposed to help earthquake victims in Syria. The weapons were specifically intended to target American troops stationed in Syria and neighboring Iraq.

“According to the leaked assessment, the military equipment hidden in shipments included small arms, ammunition and drones,” The Hill subsequently reported.

Iran is believed to be behind several recent attacks aimed at U.S. military forces, including a March drone strike in Syria that killed an American contractor and wounded multiple U.S. service members. The news comes as a group of former top diplomats urge President Biden to completely cut off all diplomatic ties with the regime in Tehran.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military mission continues in the Middle East. A report issued late last week by U.S. Central Command said that in April, American troops participated in 25 joint operations with Iraqi troops that resulted in the deaths of nine ISIS terrorists and led to seven being captured.

In Syria, U.S. forces conducted one solo raid against ISIS and ten alongside Syrian Democratic Forces. Those missions led to the deaths of four terrorists and the capture of 21 more ISIS fighters.

Despite terrorists within ISIS and the Iranian regime constantly trying to disrupt their mission, thousands of U.S. troops in the Middle East are doing their duty with bravery and brilliance. Please say a prayer for these American warriors and their worried families here at home.

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Europe

More than 100,000 U.S. troops are stationed around Europe amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. Throughout May and June, a huge joint training exercise known as “Defender Europe” is taking place across the continent.

According to the U.S. Army, the training operation involves 7,000 U.S. troops and another 17,000 from “allied and partner nations.” It is designed to “combat power in Eastern Europe” and “increase lethality of the NATO alliance through long-distance fires.”

As you can see above, a group of National Guard soldiers came all the way from Michigan to train in Latvia this week. We thank these soldiers for their service and pray for their swift and safe return to the great state of Michigan.

Border Crisis

Hundreds of U.S. troops began arriving at our country’s southern border this week ahead of Thursday night’s expiration of the pandemic-era Title 42 policy.

CBS News reported that as of Wednesday, about 550 troops had deployed to the border to “support U.S. Customs and Border Protection by monitoring the border and doing data entry and warehouse support.” The report added that “another 950 troops, largely from the Marines and Army” will be at the border by the end of May.

According to Stars and Stripes, Texas is sending 545 additional National Guard soldiers to our nation’s border with Mexico. They will join an estimated 5,000 Texas National Guard troops already deployed to the area. We thank these brave men and women for their sacrifices.

Coming Home

A group of U.S. military veterans got a nice surprise upon recently returning from an “honor flight” trip. When their plane pulled into California’s Santa Maria Airport, the veterans were enthusiastically greeted by more than 1,000 members of the military, family, friends and supporters.

Military Veterans Welcomed

A U.S. Space Force commanding officer shares a smile with a military veteran at the Santa Maria Airport in California on April 26, 2023.

Thank you to these veterans for defending our country and to this current generation of volunteer warriors for following in their selfless footsteps.

 

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

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