Service & Sacrifice: Protect Our Troops

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

The U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Carney fires the Mark 45 5-inch gun during a pre-action calibration firing in the Atlantic Ocean on October 3, 2023.

By Tom Sileo Published on December 8, 2023

Middle East

The Biden administration isn’t doing enough to protect American military personnel serving in the Middle East.

Yes, a Sunday U.S. military strike killed five terrorists near Kirkuk, Iraq, according to Reuters. That is welcome news that every American should applaud.

The fact remains, however, that only a handful of counterattacks have been ordered by President Biden since Iran-backed terrorists started launching drone, rocket and missile strikes at U.S. and coalition troops in mid-October. That does not come close to an adequate response in the wake of more than 70 enemy attacks and more than 60 injuries suffered by brave U.S. service members serving in Syria and Iraq.

This isn’t about politics. I criticized President Trump over military matters and will continue calling out politicians, when appropriate, no matter who is in the White House. The most important thing is that our leaders do everything in their power to ensure the safety of thousands of brave men and women who volunteered to defend this country and were then sent to the Middle East by their commander-in-chief.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Mason shot down an enemy drone in the Red Sea, according to the excellent reporting of POLITICO‘s Lara Seligman. She also noted that the USS Carney previously shot down another three drones during a firefight with Iran-backed Houthi terrorists based in Yemen.

Seligman and colleague Alexander Ward subsequently reported that despite the ongoing attacks, “senior Biden administration officials agree that striking Houthis in Yemen is the wrong course of action for now, per three U.S. officials, even though some military officers have proposed more forceful responses to the militants’ attacks in the Red Sea.”

I was baffled when I first read this news, as was someone who knows far more about war than me: former CIA senior intelligence officer and Clarity in Crisis author Marc Polymeropoulos.

“I guess we are waiting for one of our ships to get hit and sailors to be killed?” Polymeropoulos posted on X, as embedded below. “Hard to comprehend this policy.”

Other than flat-out weakness, what is the possible explanation for the Biden administration’s hesitation in striking back at terrorists who attack our troops? The answer might be found in Seligman and Ward’s aforementioned article.

“What we don’t want to see is the conflict in Israel widen to a regional war. As of today, it has not,” said Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh, as quoted by POLITICO.

As I write this column on the 82nd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, history has shown us the potential consequences of this kind of thinking. The only difference is that in this case, the enemy is already attacking our military in multiple countries and international waters.

What are you going to do about it, President Biden? A relatively small number of airstrikes isn’t enough to show Iran and its terrorist proxies that they shouldn’t dare mess with the United States military. You and your administration must act before brave soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines start getting killed.

Please pray for our valiant men and women in uniform stationed in the Middle East and their concerned families here at home.

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Asia

The U.S. military has grounded its entire fleet of Osprey V-22 aircraft after last week’s tragic crash off the coast of Japan that killed eight airmen, according to ABC News. The decision to halt all flights was made as the crash’s cause is investigated.

Earlier this week, the military officially released the names of all eight fallen U.S. Air Force special operations warriors who made the ultimate sacrifice.

  • Staff Sgt. Jake Galliher, 24, Pittsfield, Massachusetts
  • Maj. Eric Spendlove, 36, St. George, Utah
  • Maj. Luke Unrath, 34, Riverside, California
  • Capt. Terrell Brayman, 32, Pittsford, New York
  • Tech. Sgt. Zachary Lavoy, 33, Oviedo, Florida
  • Staff Sgt. Jake Turnage, 25, Kennesaw, Georgia
  • Senior Airman Brian Johnson, 32, Reynoldsburg, Ohio

“The honorable service of these eight airmen to this great nation will never be forgotten, as they are now among the giants who shape our history,” U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Tony Bauernfeind said in a statement.

Please ask God to comfort the Galliher, Spendlove, Unrath, Brayman, Lavoy, Turnage and Johnson families, as well as all who knew and served with these American heroes.

Coming Home

A group of Georgia National Guard soldiers recently came home after successfully serving a ten-month deployment to Europe. Check out the heartwarming below photograph of a returning soldier being greeted by his son.

Military Homecoming Marietta GA

Georgia National Guard soldiers are reunited with family members during a welcome home ceremony at the Clay National Guard Center in Marietta, Georgia, on December 1, 2023.

Welcome home, warriors! Thank you for your dedicated service to our country and Merry Christmas to you and your families.

 

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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