This Week at War: Bravery and Brilliance

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

By Tom Sileo Published on April 20, 2018


Almost one week after the U.S.-led strikes against Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, many questions remain about the role of American troops there moving forward.

There is no dispute, however, about how U.S. forces responded when called upon by the commander-in-chief to respond to a purported chemical weapons attack against civilians. Our country’s men and women in uniform performed with bravery and brilliance.

“The strike was not only a strong message to the regime that their actions were inexcusable, but it also inflicted maximum damage, without unnecessary risk to innocent civilians,” said U.S. Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Please continue praying for those innocent civilians caught in the crossfire of Syria’s civil war, along with the nearly 2,000 American troops serving there.


The Screaming Eagles are back in Afghanistan to start the legendary 101st Airborne Division’s fourth deployment to the war-torn country since the conflict began in 2001.

“The 101st Airborne Division is ready for this new ‘rendezvous with destiny,'” U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Andrew Poppas said at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan on April 16. “Since the day I took command, our future was written, and we knew we were returning to Afghanistan and have trained specifically for this mission.”

According to Master Sgt. Tanya Polk’s article, the 101st Airborne Division “will oversee NATO’s train, advise and assist mission and U.S. counterterrorism operations nationwide,” which is different from its previous three stints in Afghanistan.

“Our new team will continue to work with Afghan national defense and security forces as they continue to seize the initiative and drive our common enemies to reconciliation, or capitulation,” Maj. Gen. Poppas said.

In total, there are an estimated 14,000 American service members in Afghanistan. As the longest war in our nation’s history continues, please ask God to shield these warriors from danger and comfort their worried families on the homefront. We are eternally grateful for their sacrifices.

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Coming Home

The command and crew of the USS Michael Murphy is back home. The guided-missile destroyer returned to Pearl Harbor on April 18 after a three-month overseas deployment.


The executive officer of the guided-missile destroyer USS Michael Murphy receives a welcome from his wife and family during a homecoming celebration at Pearl Harbor on April 18, 2018.

Welcome home, heroes!


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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