Service & Sacrifice: Will the Gaza Pier Work?

A snapshot of the burdens brave U.S. troops and military families around the world are shouldering.

U.S. Army soldiers and U.S. Navy sailors build a floating pier off the shore of Gaza in support of a humanitarian relief mission on April 26, 2024.

By Tom Sileo Published on May 10, 2024

Middle East

The U.S. military has finished building a floating pier to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza.

First and foremost, we should all salute the approximately 1,000 American service members who rapidly built this pier. They followed their orders and executed a complicated, dangerous mission with bravery and brilliance. The pier was not yet open as of Thursday afternoon, with the Pentagon citing weather delays as the primary reason.

“I think what you’re going to see at the very beginning is a ‘crawl, walk, run’ scenario,” Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh said this week. “We’re going to start with an additional small amount of aid trucks to flow in to make sure that the system works, that the distribution works, and then you’ll see that increase … when we get to full operational capacity.”

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Last week on The Stream, we raised questions about whether building this pier was worth risking American lives. Now that construction is complete, it appears others are wondering if the humanitarian aid, which is already on the way, will actually reach its intended recipients.

“Senior military officials say tens of thousands of desperate residents could cluster at the end of the causeway, snarling the trucks and denying much-needed aid,” NPR reported this week. “There are also security concerns. Recently two mortars landed in the marshaling area in Gaza that will receive the trucks, causing minor damage.”

As Israel’s war against the Hamas terrorist group continues in Gaza, we pray that no American troops involved in this humanitarian relief mission become caught in the crossfire.

Meanwhile, Iran-backed Houthi terrorists are continuing their attacks against military and commercial ships. As of Thursday, the latest strikes occurred in the Gulf of Aden on the night of May 6 and the morning of May 7.

After the Houthis launched three drones, including two that were shot down and one that crashed, the U.S. military said the terrorists launched a ballistic missile from Yemen. Thankfully, “there were no injuries or damages reported by U.S., coalition, or merchant vessels.”

Please pray for all American forces serving in the Middle East. They are risking their lives to keep the rest of us safe.

Europe

Russia said this week that troops from any NATO country being sent to Ukraine would mean “huge danger” for Europe and the world. The Kremlin has been regularly threatening the west, including the United States, since invading Ukraine more than two years ago.

As Vladimir Putin’s bloody military campaign continues, Russia is also specifically threatening France after its leader said last week that he would be open to sending troops to Ukraine. According to CNBC, “Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova told reporters French troops will be targeted by the Russian army if they are deployed on Ukrainian soil.”

There are a handful of U.S. troops in Ukraine to protect our country’s embassy in Kyiv. Approximately 100,000 are spread across other nations in Europe.

Hundreds of U.S. Army soldiers are in Sweden this week as part of a large joint military training exercise called Swift Response. The purpose is to demonstrate that NATO troops can quickly deploy in response to any crisis in Europe. This week’s activities included parachute jumps and tank training.

“Swift Response for the 173rd Airborne Brigade is all about high-end training with our NATO allies and partners – testing and strengthening our combined joint capabilities together while demonstrating our commitment to the security of the European theater,” U.S. Army Col. Joshua Gaspard said.

Thank you to the tens of thousands of American military personnel stationed in Europe, as well as their families.

Coming Home

A large group of U.S. Navy sailors returned to American soil this week after spending the last several months at sea patrolling the Indo-Pacific region aboard the USS Kidd.

Military Navy Homecoming

U.S. Navy sailors serving aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd reunite with their families and friends at Naval Station Everett in Washington state on May 6, 2024.

Welcome home, sailors! Thank you for serving our country overseas and enjoy this special time with your loved ones.

 

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 coauthor of Three Wise MenBrothers Forever8 Seconds of Courage and Fire in My Eyes. Follow him on X @TSileo and The Stream at @Streamdotorg.

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