Null out the background buzz that you hear from DC where our leaders seem to want to talk of those who serve as racists, sexists, criminals, and somehow culturally divided from the nation they serve, etc. Forgive them, for they know not what they do.
Now and then we are reminded every day that there are people who have made the decision to serve. They trust their leaders to not sell their mortality lightly. They trust that the person to the left and the right of them are what they hope to be - the best their nation has to offer. There to serve, and to serve with.
That trust is key, as in a moment they will go anywhere and execute any mission they are ordered to do. They will do it as it is their job. Their job will, in the end, support the core values they hold and of the nation they serve. They will, and do, accept that the cost for that service may be their life - a cost they hope buys something of greater value.
At our best, as a nation we will do what other cannot. We will help our friends do what they cannot. At home, that may be something as simple as helping your neighbor move a fallen tree off their driveway. On a larger scale it may be helping rescue the innocents from slaughter.
One man who steps forward. One man who represents many. One man who did this for you. For others. For an ideal.
Master Sgt. Joshua L. Wheeler, USA; fullbore.
he Pentagon identified the U.S. Army soldier who died as part of a rescue mission in Northern Iraq earlier this week as Master Sgt. Joshua L. Wheeler of Roland.For a few, for a small moment, the world is a slightly less vile and nasty place. Master Sgt. Wheeler paid for this moment. I hope those who are benefiting from it - earn it.
About 70 hostages facing “imminent mass execution” were rescued in the operation at an ISIS-controlled prison that killed Wheeler, 39, according to a Pentagon statement.
Wheeler, who was was part of the Army’s Delta Force and assigned to Headquarters of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, N.C., is the first American to die in combat in Iraq since November 2011.
The hostages he was helping to rescue included more than 20 members of the Iraqi Security Forces, local residents and several ISIS fighters accused of spying. They were liberated Thursday after a helicopter assault that involved U.S. special operations troops as well as Kurdish and Iraqi forces, U.S. officials said.
“There was not a lot of time,” one U.S. official told CNN on condition of anonymity. “The threat of execution was imminent.”
Mass graves dug inside the compound were spotted during surveillance, a U.S. official with direct knowledge of details of the raid told CNN. After the rescue, hostages said they had been told they would be executed after morning prayers.