This Week at War: Pray for Our Troops

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

A U.S. Army soldier kneels at a memorial for Army Capt. Andrew P. Ross, Army Sgt. 1st Class Eric M. Emond, Army Sgt. Jason M. McClary and Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan J. Elchin on December 7, 2018, at Camp Dahlke in Afghanistan.

By Tom Sileo Published on December 13, 2018


American soldiers at war in eastern Afghanistan recently came together to honor, remember and pray for four fallen heroes and their families.

The December 7 Camp Dahlke ceremony in Logar province saluted U.S. Army Capt. Andrew P. Ross, Army Sgt. 1st Class Eric M. Emond, Army Sgt. Jason M. McClary and U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan J. Elchin. The fallen warriors were killed in action as a result of a November 27 roadside bomb attack in Ghazni, for which the Taliban has claimed responsibility.

The above image, captured by Staff Sgt. Shaiyla Hakeem, is a powerful reminder of the life and death reality that thousands of troops in Afghanistan face on a daily basis. The grave threat posed by terrorist groups in Afghanistan was underscored by Tuesday’s deadly suicide bombing in Kabul.

We should not only pray for the grieving Ross, Emond, McClary and Elchin families, but for the men and women in uniform still risking their lives on the battlefield where four valiant warriors just made the ultimate sacrifice. We are eternally grateful for their selfless bravery.

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Iraq and Syria

It’s been a while since the last update from Iraq and Syria, where a new bill just signed into law by President Trump aims to protect religious minorities, including Christians, from the murderous ideology of ISIS. At this hour, thousands of U.S. troops are still taking the fight to the terrorist group in both countries.

According to the latest Department of Defense airstrike report, there were 39 strikes conducted against ISIS in Syria on this past Saturday alone. One strike in Hajin “engaged 10 ISIS tactical units, and destroyed 21 fighting positions,” according to the Pentagon.

In Iraq, the last reported strike was on December 3 near Sulayman Bek, when coalition forces “engaged three tactical units” and “destroyed two buildings.” In all, the Pentagon said there were 251 combined strikes in Syria and Iraq during the week ending December 8.

Please keep all American service members, especially those battling evil overseas, in your daily prayers.

Coming Home

Dozens of U.S. Army soldiers who served in Afghanistan and Kosovo, including the warrior pictured below with his smiling son, returned to American soil just in time for the holidays.

Soldier and Son

A U.S. Army soldier is reunited with his son at a homecoming ceremony on November 21, 2018, at Fort Carson in Colorado.

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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