This past week we celebrated Veterans Day, a day of thanks and recognition for all those who have served our country in defense of this way of life and this great Republic. Since we spend most days laser-focused on veterans issues and military history, we thought it would be good to let you tell us what Veterans Day means to you. We were overwhelmed with responses. In fact, we had so many responses we had to break them down into five separate posts by theme: Gratitude, Service, Honor, Remembrance, and Freedom.
From the entire SOFREP team, I say thank you to all of you for sharing. We were moved by your stories, memories, and words. We’ve published thousands of articles over the years, but your words put a voice to what we do in a way that left a lasting impression on us. Thank you.
In that vein, we were proud to report this week that the bill to posthumously recognize SFC Alwyn Cashe with the Medal of Honor has passed both the House and the Senate and now awaits a signature from POTUS.
But as always, the week was a busy one: We reported on a rift forming in Ethiopia that led President Abiy Ahmed to carry out airstrikes on the breakaway state of Tigray. Meanwhile, Armenian and Azeri forces agreed on a truce, bringing a halt to the deadly fighting in the Nagorno-Karabakh region of the Caucasus.
Elsewhere, we covered down on a trio of reports from the Middle East: Israeli forces carried out a daring operation that killed the number two al-Qaeda leader — Abu Muhammed al-Masri — on the streets of Iran; the Syrian government called back Syrian refugees despite a civil war that has displaced roughly half the country’s population; and a reconnaissance mission in Egypt’s Sinai turned deadly when a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter crashed leaving five American servicemembers and two allies dead.
We tracked several strategic changes worldwide. France announced that it is considering a troop drawdown in the Sahel only days after an airstrike killed some 50 al-Qaeda fighters and neutralized vehicles and weapons caches. Moroccan military forces mobilized along the contested Guerguerat region on the border in Western Sahara. In Poland, a new deal was signed that would allow for U.S. troops in the country to increase to more than 5,000.
At home, we saw the Trump Administration relieve Mark Esper from his post as Secretary of Defense and replace him with former Special Forces officer and Counter-terrorism expert Christopher Miller. The move comes as the country waits to see who will take the White House in January. The Biden camp has made its own preparation for the SecDef position; if Biden should take office it is likely that he would tap Michèle Fournoy for the job. Amidst cries of foul surrounding the election, we reminded our readers that while our democratic process is a messy one, it’s not broken.
On SOFREP Radio this week we welcomed Lt. Col. David “Bull” Gurfein, CEO of United American Patriots (UAP). UAP is an outspoken advocate of service members and has been instrumental in defending our defenders. Tune in to this week’s episode to learn more about what UAP does.
In Gear, we looked at the SOG Instinct, a stout little blade that will make you rethink boot knives, and reviewed 5.11 Tactical’s Defender Flex Jeans (here’s a tip: they’re awesome.) We also looked at rucking and the best boots to use when you’re on the trail.
Finally, don’t forget to join us on November 20th for our second bourbon event with the Angel’s Envy team. This time, we’ll be walking through how to make an Old Fashioned.
What’s in store for next week? None of us knows. But, as always, we’ll be here to bring you the stories you won’t find anywhere else with insights and analysis from people who have actually been there.
In the meantime,
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