Service & Sacrifice: Under Fire

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

A FlexRotor unmanned aerial vehicle hovers over the flight deck of the guided-missile destroyer USS Stethem in the Gulf of Oman on November 9, 2023.

By Tom Sileo Published on November 16, 2023

Middle East

Almost 60 members of the U.S. military have been injured during ongoing attacks by Iran-backed terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq.

Stars and Stripes reports that since October 17, when missile, rocket and drone strikes began targeting American troops ten days after the brutal Hamas terrorist attack in Israel, 59 U.S. military personnel have suffered various types of wounds and trauma.

“Approximately, 27 personnel have been evaluated for [traumatic brain injuries] and 32 for other non-serious injuries,” said Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh, as quoted by Stars and Stripes on Tuesday. “As of today, all 59 have returned to duty.”

In response to American forces being attacked and injured, the White House has ordered a handful of limited airstrikes against Iran-backed terrorist groups, with the latest — as of this Thursday afternoon writing — targeting the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Syria on Sunday, according to U.S. Central Command.

“In response to continued provocations by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and their affiliated groups in Iraq and Syria, U.S. Central Command conducted air strikes against facilities near the cities of Abu Kamal and Mayadin,” Gen. Michael Erik Kurilla said. “The United States will continue to defend itself, its personnel, and its interests.”

Matthew Adams’ aforementioned Stars and Stripes article notes that “the Pentagon believes the deterrence strikes are working.”

“I think we are being very deliberate on how and when we conduct our strikes against these groups,” Singh is quoted as saying. “And I think that Iran is certainly seeing that message.”

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On Thursday, Fox News reported that there was another attack aimed at U.S. troops in the Middle East—the 58th such terrorist strike since October 17.

A day earlier, “rockets were fired toward Mission Support Site Green Village in eastern Syria,” Fox News reported, citing a military source. “According to the official, the rockets didn’t land on base and didn’t cause any injuries.”

Syria wasn’t the only place where the U.S. military came under attack on Wednesday. Fox News also reported that a drone launched from Yemen was “shot down in self-defense” by the USS Thomas Hudner.

A defense official told Fox that the drone was headed toward the U.S. Navy destroyer before the threat was eliminated by the brave and skilled sailors aboard the ship. The Houthis, also backed by Iran, have been frequently firing on American ships and even shot down a U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drone off the coast of Yemen last week.

It is an outrage that Iran is attacking and injuring our troops and more must be done by the Biden administration to keep them safe.

As attacks on U.S. troops continue, five military families are mourning a devastating loss suffered on Friday when a U.S. Army helicopter crashed in the the Mediterranean Sea during a training mission.

This week, the U.S. military identified all five fallen special operations soldiers killed in the crash, which is currently under investigation.

  • Chief Warrant Officer 3 Stephen Dwyer, 38, Clarksville, Tennessee
  • Chief Warrant Officer 2 Shane Barnes, 34, Sacramento, California
  • Staff Sgt. Tanner Grone, 26, Gorham, New Hampshire
  • Sgt. Andrew Southard, 27, Apache Junction, Arizona
  • Sgt. Cade Wolfe, 24, Mankato, Minnesota

“This is devastating news that reverberates across the entire Special Operations community,” said U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Jonathan Braga said in a Monday statement.

“We will remember their service and their sacrifice,” said Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, as quoted by Stars and Stripes.

Please join all of us at The Stream in praying for America’s five newest families of the fallen, as well everyone else who knew and served with these departed warriors. These brave men selflessly stepped forward to serve and made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our freedom. We will never forget them and humbly ask God to comfort the loved ones that these American heroes left behind.

Coming Home

A group of U.S. Army soldiers recently returned home to their base in Kentucky after successfully serving a deployment to Eastern Europe.

Military Homecoming Kentucky

A U.S. Army soldier is reunited with his daughter during a homecoming ceremony at Fort Campbell in Kentucky on November 8, 2023.

Welcome home, heroes! Thank you for your dedicated service to our country.


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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