Service & Sacrifice: No Debate

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

U.S. Navy fighter jets fly over the Red Sea on June 11, 2024.

By Tom Sileo Published on June 28, 2024

Middle East

While Joe Biden and Donald Trump were shouting at each other for the first time in person since 2020, members of the U.S. military were quietly doing their duty in the world’s most dangerous places.

The national media is predictably poring over Thursday night’s debate between America’s 45th and 46th presidents. While you might not be able to tell while watching cable news, however, there is other important news going on in the world.

The most immediate threat currently being faced by U.S. troops is in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, where Iran-backed Houthi terrorists have been attacking U.S. military and international commercial ships since October’s Hamas massacre in Israel.

On Wednesday, U.S. Central Command announced that a “radar site in a Houthi controlled area of Yemen” was destroyed by American forces. The military said “the radar site presented an imminent threat to U.S., coalition forces, and merchant vessels in the region.”

The U.S. military strike follows the Houthis attacking the Liberian-flagged, Greek-owned M/V Trans World Navigator cargo ship for the fourth time on Saturday. While the ship was able to continue its journey despite sustaining “moderate damage,” the terrorist group has already sank two other merchant ships.

To its credit, 60 Minutes aired a repackaged earlier report on the crisis this past Sunday. It underscored the dramatic impact the Houthi attacks are having on the courageous men and women of the U.S. Navy, who haven’t been tasked with an ongoing mission like the current situation in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden since World War II.

Back in May, I questioned whether building a floating pier intended to provide humanitarian relief to war-torn Gaza was worth risking American blood and treasure. Despite brilliant efforts by hundreds of U.S. military service members carrying out the mission, the answer thus far is a resounding “no.”

POLITICO reports that after several months of problems with the pier, mostly related to bad weather and the subsequent need for repairs, the site is once again operational. Still, aid “is still not reaching any of the desperate Gazans inside the enclave.”

“On Sunday, U.S. military personnel moved 720 metric tons, or 1.5 million pounds, of aid across the pier to the beach, the most delivered on a single day so far,” the POLITICO article said.

Sympathy should be felt for the citizens of Gaza, who are essentially being held hostage by the same Hamas terrorist group that murdered, raped and kidnapped innocent Israelis on October 7. As Israel continues to hunt down terrorists hiding behind innocent civilians in Gaza, it’s concerning that American troops are stationed a stone’s throw away from the violence.

When it comes to the courage of our nation’s men and women in uniform, there is no debate. No matter who is paying attention, members of the military are constantly putting themselves at risk to keep others safe. As cable news becomes increasingly consumed by the 2024 election horse race, you can count on The Stream to keep highlighting the sacrifices of America’s heroes and their families.


The U.S. military is ahead of schedule in withdrawing all American service members from the African nation of Niger.

The Army Times reports that more than 1,000 U.S. troops and all military equipment will be out of Niger before September. American forces mainly operated out of an airbase that was heavily used for counterterrorism operations in and around Africa, but a military coup last summer began souring relations between the U.S. and Niger.

In 2017, four American heroes were killed in action in Niger: U.S. Army Staff Sgts. Bryan Black, Jeremiah Johnson and Dustin Wright and Sgt. La David Johnson. Please keep praying for their families.

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The Biden administration is considering lifting a “de facto ban” on U.S. military contractors operating inside Ukraine.

CNN reports that “four U.S. officials familiar with the matter” said the White House is “moving toward” ending the ban in order “to help the country’s military maintain and repair U.S.-provided weapons systems.” Russian president Vladimir Putin has long warned against any American presence inside Ukraine, which he ordered his military to invade in February 2022.

President Biden and his advisors continue to insist that no American troops will be deployed to Ukraine during its ongoing war with Russia.

Meanwhile, a massive joint military training exercise that you may have read about last week on The Stream has wrapped up in Europe. The exercises involved about 9,000 troops from 20 NATO countries including the United States.

The large-scale training operations, which were clearly aimed at projecting strength to Russia, were carried out in countries including Latvia,  Sweden, Lithuania, Poland, and Germany.

With tensions rising as more than 100,000 U.S. troops serve in Europe, please say a prayer for these deployed warriors and their loved ones. These military families will spend July 4th apart so that all of us can celebrate America’s independence together. We are grateful for their sacrifices.

Coming Home

Throughout the month of June, brave soldiers with the U.S. Army’s 3rd Infantry Division have been returning from deployments to Europe. The heartwarming photo of a military dad and his kids displayed below was taken at Fort Stewart in Georgia on the night of June 3.

Military Homecoming GA

A U.S. Army soldier reunites with his children during a homecoming ceremony at Fort Stewart in Georgia on June 3, 2024.

Welcome home, warriors! Thank you for helping keep America, Europe and the free world safe. We hope you enjoy a Happy Fourth of July with your families!


Tom Sileo is a contributing senior editor of The Stream. He is the author of the newly released I Have Your BackBe 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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