This Week at War: Four of Our Own

The Stream's weekly look at the ongoing sacrifices of U.S. troops and military families around the world.

U.S. Air Force airmen raise and then lower the American flag to half-staff at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado on September 11, 2018.

By Tom Sileo Published on April 5, 2019

Afghanistan

The 17-plus year war in Afghanistan is touching more communities across the United States.

This week in Lancaster, Ohio, hundreds of mourners lined city streets to pay their respects to U.S. Army Sgt. Joseph Collette, who was killed last month in Afghanistan’s Kunduz Province.

“How could you not come out for him?” U.S. Navy veteran Rusti Dipierro, 83, told The Columbus Dispatch. “He’s one of our own.”

Sergeant Collette, 29, had just gotten married before deploying overseas. An explosive ordnance disposal specialist who undoubtedly saved many lives by disarming enemy bombs, Collette was posthumously promoted to his current rank and will also receive a Purple Heart, according to the newspaper. Funeral services are scheduled for Friday.

The same day in Colorado Springs, the American flag-draped casket of U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Will Lindsay was met by loved ones and dignitaries at Peterson Air Force Base. Police officers then “escorted the motorcade through the city and firefighters saluted as it drove past” on Wednesday afternoon, according to Colorado Public Radio.

Sergeant First Class Lindsay, 33, was from the small Colorado city of Cortez. American flags throughout the state have been lowered in the fallen Green Beret’s honor. The highly decorated soldier, who was killed during the same March 22 battle as Spc. Collette, leaves behind a wife and four daughters.

Please continue to pray for the Lindsay and Collette families, as well as the friends and fellow soldiers of these departed warriors. May God comfort them during this unimaginably painful week of mourning.

Honor the Fallen

In Yuma, Arizona, the Marine Corps community is mourning a tragic Saturday night training crash that claimed the lives of two U.S. Marine AH-1Z Viper pilots.

The helicopter crash that killed Maj. Matthew Wiegand and Capt. Travis Brannon, which Military.com reports is under investigation, sent shock waves from Arizona to Pennsylvania and Tennessee, where the fallen Marines respectively hailed from.

“It is a somber day for the entire Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command as we mourn this tremendous loss,” U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Roger Turner Jr. said in a statement, as quoted by Military.com. “Our thoughts and prayers remain with their families and loved ones during this extremely difficult time.”

All of us at The Stream join the Marine Corps community in praying for the Wiegand and Brannon families.

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Coming Home

During another solemn week at war, this image of a U.S. Air Force wife embracing her husband upon his return from a Middle Eastern deployment brings us happiness and hope.

Airman Comes Home

A military wife hugs her husband after he returned from a deployment to Al Udeid, Qatar on March 11, 2019, at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas.

Welcome home, hero!

 

Tom Sileo is a contributing senior editor of The Stream. He is co-author of three books about military heroes: 8 Seconds of CourageBrothers Forever and Fire in My Eyes. Follow Tom on Twitter @TSileo.

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