Image courtesy: Petty Officer 1st Class Bill Steele

Invisible Sacrifice

via the Unknown Soldier

Almost nobody in the United States has heard of Operation Aluminum Python, an eastern Afghanistan mission to root terrorists out of the treacherous, poppy-infested Mayl Valley. This riveting account, written by a military journalist on the ground, details a tense encounter between brave Oklahoma National Guard soldiers and a Taliban fighter.

“The enemy sniper moved silently in the mountain darkness, snake-like, as he stalked the American and Afghan National Army soldiers, waiting for his opportunity to strike,” Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Bill Steele wrote.

When soldiers received intelligence indicating that they were being followed, a team of Americans and Afghans hunted down the terrorist. After a tense standoff, the enemy fighter was killed.

“We gave him a tactical call-out, but he didn’t want to play ball,” Army 1st Lt. Craig McCullah, from Topeka, Kansas, said.

This is the stuff of movies, yet it’s barely noticed enough back home to make the evening news. With military journalists risking their lives to bring these stories home, the least we can do is notice.

The soldiers who killed this terrorist weren’t looking for headlines; they wanted to protect those around them and stay alive themselves. Yet it’s stories like these that Americans need to hear about, especially as the public is being conditioned into thinking that the war in Afghanistan is over or almost over by some politicians and media figures.

I recently spoke with a grieving mother who lost her daughter in Afghanistan less than six weeks ago. With tens of thousands of Americans in battle and some coming home to their families in flag-draped caskets, the notion that this war is “winding down” is misguided and wrong. READ MORE