This Week at War: Grit and Gratitude

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

By Tom Sileo Published on May 11, 2018

Iraq and Syria

In a major victory for the United States and Iraq, the U.S.-led coalition announced that five ISIS commanders were captured this week in an elaborate sting operation. According to Reuters, the five terrorists – Saddam al-Jammel, Mohamed al-Qadeer, Ismail al-Eithawi, Omar al-Karbouli and Essam al-Zawbai – were lured into Iraq from neighboring Syria.

Citing Reuters, NBC News reports that “the operation was carried out in cooperation with U.S. forces, part of an American-led coalition fighting against (ISIS) on both sides of the Iraqi-Syrian border.”

Our gratitude to valiant U.S. troops knows no bounds. While the results of their grit are often invisible to the public, the capture of these terrorists is a shining example of how our military’s ongoing sacrifices punish evil men and shield the innocent. Please keep these American heroes and their families in your prayers as they serve in two of the world’s most dangerous lands.


In war-torn Afghanistan, another brutal attack on a voter registration center killed at least 12 innocent people and wounded 33 earlier this week. The suicide bombing “took place in the city of Khost, the capital of the province of the same name,” according to AP. In October, Afghanistan plans to hold its first national election in four years, which will have a major impact on the approximately 14,000 American service members still stationed there.

Some of those brave U.S. troops are in Afghanistan’s remote Nangarhar Province, near the country’s volatile border with Pakistan. As you can see in the above photo taken earlier this week by U.S. Air Force Tech Sgt. Dana Flamer, the commander of U.S. Central Command, U.S. Army Gen. Joseph Votel, took time to visit courageous soldiers serving there.

Imagine missing your loved ones while spending six months (or more) in desolate mountains surrounded by people who want to kill you. Those are some of the stark realities being grappled with on a daily basis by the brave volunteer warriors in the above image. Please pray for these American soldiers and their families.

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Coming Home

Navy Homecoming

A U.S. Navy sailor assigned to the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain greets his family upon returning to San Diego from a deployment on May 9, 2018.

What a heartwarming photograph. As you can see, this son of a sailor was elated by his father’s return to California from the high seas. Welcome home to all the U.S. Navy heroes who came home this week after serving aboard the USS Lake Champlain!


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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