This Week at War: Making a Difference
The Stream's weekly look at the sacrifices of U.S. troops and military families around the globe.
“Some people wonder all their lives if they’ve made a difference. The Marines don’t have that problem.” ~Ronald Reagan
Right now in Afghanistan, the brave men and women of the United States Marine Corps are living up to President Reagan’s famous words. On Wednesday, the commander of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, Gen. John Nicholson, announced that Marines took out an estimated 50 Taliban commanders in the war zone’s volatile Helmand Province.
According to Fox News, Marines hit the terrorists with rocket artillery after they were tracked to a meeting in the province’s Musa Qala district.
“These strikes represent one of the largest blows to Taliban leadership in the last year,” Gen. Nicholson said in a NATO statement. “The cumulative effects of which will be felt nationwide for quite some time.”
In Kandahar, 20 Taliban leaders were eliminated by U.S. Air Force A-10 fighter jets and drones earlier in the month, according to Fox. NATO also specifically noted a May 26 drone strike that killed a key improvised explosive device facilitator who had supervised the killing and maiming of troops and innocent civilians in Afghanistan for “the past 13 years.”
Indeed, the heroes of our military are making a difference.
The approximately 2,000 American service members deployed to Syria still face grave danger, as underscored by a new threat from the country’s murderous dictator, Bashar al-Assad. According to The Washington Post, Assad told state Russian television that “we are going to resort to liberating the area by force, with the Americans or without the Americans.”
The dictator then insisted, according to the newspaper, that U.S. troops “are going to leave.”
A New York Times report earlier this week noted that “an American-backed ground offensive to wipe out the last pockets of (ISIS) fighters in eastern Syria has been reignited over the past month.”
Please pray for our courageous troops and their families at home as they risk their lives in the world’s most volatile region.
Fortunately, there are hundreds of valiant U.S. troops returning from global hotspots, including Afghanistan. As seen in a powerful image recently captured at a homecoming ceremony in Alaska, military spouses often pray until the very moment their husband or wife steps foot back on American soil.
Moments later, the U.S. Army family was reunited after nine long months.
Thank you, Lord, for keeping this warrior and his fellow soldiers safe. Welcome home!
Tom Sileo is a contributing senior editor of The Stream. He is co-author of three books about military heroes: 8 Seconds of Courage, Brothers Forever and Fire in My Eyes. Follow Tom on Twitter @TSileo.