Two men walked inside our white picket fence, up on to our porch, and sent my dogs in a frenzy. I came out of the kitchen to see two berets in the top window of our front door. One was the deep red of an airborne soldier with a cross indicating a chaplain. The other was green like the one my husband Matthew wore, the one I have in the dash of our car, the one my son Declan wears around our house.
They rang the doorbell, they knocked on the wide old door, and they knew I saw them but somehow I couldn’t move. The 100 year old hardwoods beneath my feet had been refinished by hand in the dream house Matt and I had just bought to raise our son in. Our son, who was sleeping on the couch peacefully in his car-seat, after just being brought inside only feet from the front door, our son who I would do anything to protect from the shot heard round our world. Those beautiful hardwood floors we had loved so much were no longer enough to hold me up while everything came crashing down around us and they swallowed me whole.
The Taliban had fled the center of town as we inserted, however as time passed on target they began to regroup in several compounds on the outskirts of town and started to engage us with harassing fire. As extraction approached the fire intensified and by the time the last helicopter of our extraction package landed we were engaged in a decent gunfight. Unfortunately, the final extraction bird overflew the designated, and relatively protected, landing zone and landed in an exposed area approximately 200m from a cemetery in which several Talibs had taken up fire positions. The following video is of our chalk running to meet the extraction helicopter as it sits exposed in open ground. The operator who sustains the gunshot wound is the one who I kneel immediately next to. As luck would have it he chose the split second before he was shot to stand and turn to board the helicopter, causing the bullet to rip through his buttock and exit the front of his thigh, whereas it would have likely struck his head if he had remained kneeling.
"The name of the first U.S. service member killed in combat under the Trump administration was announced by the Pentagon on Monday.
The U.S. military said Sunday that one service member was killed and three others wounded in a raid in Yemen targeting its local al Qaeda branch, marking the first-known combat death of a U.S. soldier under President Donald Trump’s new administration.
On Wednesday, President Obama commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning for her role in the WikiLeaks scandal of 2010. Manning a soldier who was convicted by court martial in 2013 under the Espionage act and under another 22 separate charges to include aiding the enemy.