Service & Sacrifice: In Mourning

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

A U.S. Marine Corps CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter takes off from a ship in the Pacific Ocean on January 10, 2024.

By Tom Sileo Published on February 8, 2024


The U.S. Marine Corps and entire military community are mourning the deaths of five valiant Marines in a helicopter crash.

According to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, all five Marines were killed on Tuesday night when their CH-53E helicopter went down during a training mission. The Marine Corps Times reports that the helicopter took off from Creech Air Force Base in Nevada before crashing in southern California.

“These pilots and crewmembers were serving a calling greater than self and were proud to do so,” Maj. Gen. Michael Borgschulte said in the statement embedded below. “We will forever be grateful for their call to duty and selfless service.”

The tragic crash is now under military investigation. The identities of the fallen Marines will be released 24 hours after their families have been officially notified.

“To the families of our fallen Marines, we send our deepest condolences and commit to ensuring your support and care during this incredibly difficult time,” Maj. Gen. Borgschulte said.

As five military families get those dreaded knocks on their front doors, please ask God to comfort them during these first hours of darkness and despair. We pledge to continue praying for them and to never forget the ultimate sacrifices made by their loved ones.

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Middle East

In addition to the five Marines lost in California, three U.S. Army Reserve soldiers and two U.S. Navy SEALs were recently killed while bravely serving our country in Jordan and Yemen, respectively. All of us at The Stream continue to pray for these five grieving Gold Star families as well.

As the U.S. military pounds Iran-affiliated terrorist targets in Yemen, Syria and Iraq – including the Wednesday drone strike in Baghdad embedded above – attacks against American troops stationed in the Middle East have continued.

According to POLITICO’s Lara Seligman, at least three new attacks have occurred since U.S. military airstrikes began on Friday. They include Friday and Sunday strikes on Mission Support Site (MSS) Euphrates in Syria and a Saturday drone attack on an oil field near MSS Green Village that killed several Syrian troops and significantly damaged the facility.

As Seligman noted above, the strikes brought the total number of attacks against U.S. troops in Syria and Iraq to a staggering 169 since mid-October. Additionally, Seligman reports that Iran-backed Houthi terrorists “have attacked or threatened ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden 41 times since November 19.”

With the Middle East in chaos and thousands of our nation’s brave men and women in uniform caught squarely in the crossfire, now is the time to put politics aside and support our troops. The fanatics who control Iran’s government are evil and our country is doing the right thing by confronting a regime that’s spreading terrorism throughout the region and world.

Please join The Stream in praying for the swift and safe return of all of our nation’s deployed military warriors.

Coming Home

Military families were overjoyed when a U.S. Air National Guard unit recently returned to Ohio after finishing a difficult deployment to the Middle East.

Military Homecoming Ohio

A U.S. Air National Guard airman reunites with her family upon returning from an overseas deployment to Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base in Ohio on February 2, 2024.

Welcome home, heroes! From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for risking your lives to keep us safe.


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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