Service & Sacrifice: ‘Helping Others’

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

A U.S. Army AH-64D Apache Longbow helicopter lands at Megara Airport in Greece on May 12, 2023.

By Tom Sileo Published on May 19, 2023

Europe

A U.S. military veteran was reportedly killed this week in Ukraine.

CNN reports that retired U.S. Army Green Beret Staff Sgt. Nicholas Maimer, who served in the military from 1996 to 1998 and again from 2000 to 2018, was “killed by Russian artillery in the embattled city of Bakhmut” when the building he was inside collapsed. Maimer, who hailed from Idaho, was 45 years old.

Maimer is believed to be the 14th American killed since the Russia-Ukraine War started in February 2022, according to Task and Purpose.

“Being a Green Beret, he was able to link up with Ukranians and be able to foster relationships and then be able to provide a lot of help to a lot of people in need in a combat zone,” retired Army Lt. Col. Perry Blackburn, who runs a non-profit called AFGfree, told Task and Purpose.

“He put others before him,” Blackburn added. “He was just one of those guys that believed in helping others.”

The Stream sends its heartfelt prayers to the Maimer family.

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As heavy fighting continues during the Russia-Ukraine War, the U.S. military is staying ready. In Europe, where more than 100,000 brave American troops are stationed, a huge training exercise known as “Defender Europe” is about to start its second of three connected exercises.

While the above photograph shows a recent helicopter training mission in Greece, approximately 7,000 U.S. service members are participating all around the continent. The aforementioned second exercise, which is called “Immediate Response,” starts on Monday in Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Slovenia, according to U.S. Army Europe and Africa.

Thank you to all American military personnel currently stationed across Europe. We pray for your swift and safe return.

Training

Here at home, another U.S. military training accident left two soldiers injured in Washington state.

According to the Army Times, Army officials announced this week that an AH-64 Apache helicopter crashed last Friday at the Yakima Training Center. By the grace of God, nobody was killed. As the Army Times correctly notes, however, “the incident follows a string of helicopter accidents in recent months.”

Please say a prayer for both soldiers injured in this crash, as well as their families.

Middle East

Back in March, The Stream reported on an enemy drone strike in Syria that targeted U.S. troops. The attack killed an American contractor and injured dozens more U.S. military personnel at a coalition base in Hasakah, which is in northeast Syria.

This week, the Wall Street Journal confirmed what nearly everyone suspected at the time: Iran was behind the attack, even though it was reportedly launched from neighboring Iraq, not Syria. The newspaper cites U.S. officials as saying that the drone strike was the work of “an Iranian-backed militia in northern Iraq.”

With about 3,400 combined American troops serving in Syria and Iraq, the dangers they face on a daily basis from terrorists affiliated with Iran and ISIS are clearly very real and serious. Please ask God to shield these valiant warriors from further terrorist attacks.

Welcome Home

Vietnam veterans and their families were honored at a “Welcome Home” event held on Washington’s National Mall to mark the recent 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.

Military Vietnam Veterans

Vietnam War veterans attend an event to honor Vietnam veterans and their families at West Potomac Park on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on May 13, 2023.

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank all of our nation’s Vietnam veterans for their service. With Memorial Day approaching, we also honor and remember the more than 58,000 U.S. military service members who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam. These American heroes will never be forgotten.

 

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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