This Week at War: After Memorial Day

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

A U.S. Navy dog handler sweeps the perimeter with Bojar, an explosive sniffing dog, during an exercise on Udairi Range in Kuwait on May 29, 2019.

By Tom Sileo Published on May 31, 2019

It happens every year. The national media publishes and airs dozens of powerful, commendable Memorial Day stories that remind us of the military community’s staggering sacrifices before and during America’s longest war.

Then, in the ensuing days and weeks, coverage of the ongoing burdens being shouldered by our troops and their families mostly disappears.

Every week, The Stream provides an in-depth look at what our brave men and women are actually doing in dangerous places like Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

While an almost 18-year-old war may not fit in with the mainstream media’s endless quest for ratings and clicks, we believe that paying attention to the brilliant work of our heroes and their families is of paramount importance.

Our coverage will continue until each and every U.S. service member serving in the Middle East comes home.

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Afghanistan

Terrorists attacked a military training center in Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul on Thursday. According to Voice of America, at least six security guards were killed and more than a dozen injured when a bomb exploded at the Marshal Fahim National Defense University’s entrance gate.

“The violence comes amid intense deadly clashes between U.S. backed forces and Taliban insurgents elsewhere in Afghanistan,” VOA’s report goes on to say.

As negotiations continued this week with the Taliban, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, said a U.S. pullout of Afghanistan is not an option if terrorists are given free reign to plan attacks and wreak havoc on Afghan troops and civilians.

“Our fundamental interest, our counterterrorism present in South Asia in support of a broader South Asia strategy, that’s not negotiable in terms of our counterterrorism interest,” said Gen. Dunford, as quoted by VOA.

Middle East

The above image of a military dog and its U.S. Navy handler doesn’t just show a training exercise held this week in the scorching deserts of Kuwait. It was part of intense preparations for an upcoming combat deployment to Afghanistan by the Wisconsin National Guard. We will be praying for these warriors and their families.

U.S. troops across the Middle East are still in harm’s way. Just before Memorial Day, the White House confirmed that about 1,500 additional American service members and a dozen fighter jets are headed to the region to counter the threat posed by Iran, which is already responsible for the deaths of hundreds of brave Americans over the past two decades.

In addition to tensions with Iran, U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria are still battling remnants of the ISIS terrorist group. From airstrikes to assisting with the seizure of weapons and bringing some of the world’s worst terrorists to justice, our troops face grave danger every single day. Please continue to pray for them.

Coming Home

A group of U.S. Navy sailors was reunited with their families this week after four months at sea aboard the USS Blue Ridge.

Sailors Come Home

A U.S. Navy sailor seess his wife and son for the first time since a four-month patrol aboard the USS Blue Ridge on May 29, 2019.

Thank you for your service, sailors!

 

Tom Sileo is a contributing senior editor of The Stream. He is co-author of 8 Seconds of CourageBrothers Forever and Fire in My Eyes. Follow Tom on Twitter @TSileo and The Stream at @Streamdotorg

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