It doesn't take a hero to order men into battle.
It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.
Norman Schwarskopf (1934 - 2012)
Commander of Desert Storm Operations
Note: The purpose of this page is to pay tribute to the men and women of the
US Armed Forces who serve and sacrifice with courage and honor. I have provided information from the Department of Defense
and NATO for historical perspective only. I'll leave the analysis of world events up to you, the reader, because this
is not a political site.
Since October 2001, the blood of American soldiers has soaked foreign
soil in the name of freedom. Every day the men and women of the US military show courage, discipline, unwavering dedication
and the willingness to sacrifice.
in Iraq marked the formal completion of the combat mission, but as many as 50,000 non-combat US troops remained in that
country until the end of 2011. Operation Iraqi Freedom changed its name to Operation New Dawn. American sacrifice was not
over, however: There were 73 American deaths and 295
wounded in Operation New Dawn from September 1, 2010 to December 18, 2011. The last battalion left Iraq on December 18, 2011, officially ending the war.
After 13 years of combat
operations in Afghanistan, Operation Enduring Freedom drew to a close on December 28, 2014. Freedom isn't free and here are the grim statistics to prove it: 2350 Americans died and 20,092
were wounded in Operation Enduring Freedom worldwide from the start of the war on October
7, 2001 to its formal end date of 12/28/2014. The final American death count for Operation Iraqi Freedom is 4424. (March 20, 2003
- August 31, 2010.) This death toll represents a profound loss of youth and human potential.
2014: Operation Inherent Resolve officially refers to U.S. military actions against ISIL, specifically the
campaigns in Iraq and Syria. At last count*, there have been 43 deaths
and 44 wounded in action.
December 28, 2014: The newest U.S. Military mission in Afghanistan
is called Operation Freedom's Sentinel. It is part of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission. The goal is
to maintain a limited U.S. military presence in Afghanistan to train, advise and assist Afghan forces and to conduct counter-terrorism
operations. Operation Freedom's Sentinel is the follow-on mission to Operation Enduring Freedom. To date*, there have been
190 injuries and 40 deaths reported in Operation Freedom's Sentinel.
30 October 2015: Special
Forces ground troops are deployed to Syria to fight ISIS. So far, the casualty and death counts are included in the Operation
Inherent Resolve statistics.
At least 31,956 US troops and personnel were wounded during Operation
Iraqi Freedom. Many of the wounded soldiers are permanently maimed. I cannot express in writing the magnitude of loss
and the personal pain of war.
*Source: Requires free PDF Adobe® Reader®
US Fatalities as of June 26, 2017:
(The DoD site is updated daily.)
Totals include DoD Civilian Casualties.
Same source as above.
Totals equal those returned and not returned to duty.
thoughts and prayers are with the families of the brave young men and women in uniform who have given the last full measure of devotion in service to their country. May the God of your understanding wrap
loving arms around you and give you exactly what you need when you need it. I wish you unexpected comfort and peace.
To those who continue to serve in the US Armed Forces:
Thank you for your courage, sacrifice and honorable
service. Stay safe and return home soon to the warm embrace of family, friends and a grateful nation.
Freedom Is Not Free
By Kelly Strong
I watched the flag pass by one day,
It fluttered in the
A young Marine saluted it,
And then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform,
So young, so tall, so proud;
With hair cut square and eyes alert,
stand out in any crowd.
I thought... how many men like him
Had fallen through the years?
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?
How many pilots' planes shot down
How many died at sea
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves
Freedom is not Free.
I heard the sound of Taps one night,
When everything was still;
I listened to the bugler play,
And felt a sudden chill;
I wondered just how many times
That Taps had meant "Amen"
a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend;
thought of all the children,I thought about a graveyard
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands.
At the bottom of the sea,
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No. Freedom is not Free!
Of all the gifts you can give a US soldier, prayer
is the very best one.
Operation Worship: Providing Bibles for the Troops
Military Chaplains Association SM USA
Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA