While the Biden administration has worked to demoralize America's fighting force with draconian COVID vaccine mandates, the Washington Free Beacon continues to celebrate our brave men and women fighting on the front lines—and against the Democratic administration's efforts to decimate the force.
Since the Biden administration implemented mandatory vaccine shots for all soldiers, an already strained fighting force has seen its numbers dwindle: Some 3,717 Marines, 1,816 soldiers, and 2,064 sailors have been discharged for refusing the vaccine. As if being vaccinated against a flu-like virus is necessary to fight in our important forever wars against enemies of freedom across the globe.
The administration was recently forced by Congress to drop its mandate, but no process was created for those who were lost from the force to be reinstated. And the White House still stands by its assault on the troops. "We continue to believe that repealing the vaccine mandate is a mistake," White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said this month.
Still, as they always do, our warfighters persisted. Two top ISIS officials were vaporized in a mid-December helicopter raid by U.S. forces that required "extensive planning." U.S. Central Command spokesman Col. Joe Buccino said the successful operation "will disrupt the terrorist organization's ability to further plot and carry out destabilizing attacks in the Middle East."
In mid-October, U.S.-backed coalition forces in Syria killed Abu al-Hassan al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, another ISIS terror leader. A July drone strike in Syria planned by the United States took the life of Maher al-Agal, ISIS's leader in Syria and one of its top five officials. In February, U.S. forces conducted a raid in northwestern Syria that eliminated ISIS head Hajji Abdullah, who reportedly "detonated a suicide vest that killed himself, his wife, and children."
Eliminating terrorist scum remains a badge of honor for our troops, who continue to tirelessly protect this nation throughout the Biden administration's multiple foreign policy blunders, such as the 2021 withdrawal from Afghanistan that left 13 soldiers dead and the Taliban in power.
China is expanding its nuclear arsenal. Russia is readying its own nuclear bombs for use amid its ongoing assault on Ukraine. Iran continues to architect terrorism across the Middle East. And through it all, we have confidence our fighting force will be standing on the front lines to protect American freedom. The troops, this year and every year, are Washington Free Beacon Men of the Year.