Service & Sacrifice: The Threat is Real

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

The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower conducts flight operations in the Red Sea on March 22, 2024.

By Tom Sileo Published on March 29, 2024

Houthi terrorists backed by Iran simply will not stop targeting U.S. military warships in the Red Sea.

On Wednesday, U.S. Central Command said that “four long-range unmanned aerial systems” were fired from Yemen toward a U.S. Navy ship. Thankfully, all four, which were deemed “imminent threats,” were shot down by the brave men and women of our nation’s military.

The Stream has been reporting on such attacks for months. While Iran’s efforts to strike at U.S. troops have slowed down in Iraq and Syria, there has been no such pause in and around the Red Sea. The threat to U.S. troops and commercial shipping remains real and extremely dangerous.

In Gaza, it appears the U.S. military will be relying heavily on Israel to protect American forces tasked with building a temporary pier to allow additional humanitarian relief.

POLITICO reports that the Israeli Defense Force has committed to create a “security bubble” as the temporary port is built amid Israel’s ongoing military clashes with the Hamas terrorist group. The report notes that plans have not been finalized since President Biden ordered construction of the pier during his State of the Union address.

“Still, many questions remain about the project, even as several U.S. Army ships are already well on their way to Gaza,” writes POLITICO defense reporter Lara Seligman.

The Stream will be monitoring this story and continuing to pray for all U.S. troops stationed in the troubled Middle East region.

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Bridge Collapse

Tuesday’s collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore was a catastrophe that will have a lasting impact not just on Maryland, but our whole country.

The military has been affected by it, too. The U.S. Coast Guard has been leading search, rescue, and recovery efforts in the Patapsco River all week.

Also, approximately 1,100 soldiers with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have been deployed to the Port of Baltimore. The military experts are not only being tasked with reviewing the extensive damage, but clearing debris with the goal of reopening the critical port as quickly as possible.

“Our thoughts are with those impacted by the tragic collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge,” U.S. Army Col. Estee Pinchasin said in a statement. “Our emergency managers are closely monitoring the incident and coordinating with partner agencies for any potential support requests. We’ll continue to support the U.S. Coast Guard and other state and local agencies as needed.”

We will keep praying for all victims and family members affected by this terrible tragedy.

Europe

As Russia steps up its brutal bombing campaign in Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin is warning the West that American F-16 fighter jets set to be sent to his adversary could be future targets.

While Putin claims he won’t attack NATO, according to the Associated Press, the Russian leader said the bases housing F-16s given to Ukraine would be considered “legitimate” targets by his country’s military.

“We will destroy their warplanes just as we destroy their tanks, armored vehicles, and other equipment, including multiple rocket launchers,” Putin said.

As Putin ratchets up his rhetoric, more than 100,000 American troops deployed to Europe are staying ready to respond. From Greece and Poland to Norway and Latvia, the U.S. military has been participated in several major training exercises across the continent throughout March.

Another military unit has been busy training at home in Louisiana. According to a March article posted on the U.S. Army website, 85 Louisiana National Guard soldiers are preparing to leave their families and deploy to Europe later this spring.

“Being able to contact our counterparts down range has really allowed me to see the bigger picture of the overall mission,” said Spc. Kylie Leday, who will be the unit’s acting religious affairs specialist during the upcoming deployment. “Getting hands-on training on the front end allowed many of us to gain more clarity on what a workday will look like on this mobilization.”

We pray that these soldiers – and all U.S. military personnel deployed to Europe – return swiftly and safely to their loved ones.

Coming Home

After more than eight long months at sea on the USS Bataan, thousands of selfless sailors and brave Marines are back on American soil.

USS Bataan Military Homecoming

A U.S. Navy sailor serving aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan greets his family upon returning to Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia on March 21, 2024.

One can only image the emotions that were going through this sailor’s mind when he finally got the chance to embrace his wife and child after so much time apart. We thank him and all aboard the USS Bataan for sacrificing so much to preserve our freedom. Welcome home!

 

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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