Master Sargent Joshua L. Wheeler, a United States Army Delta Force solider from Oklahoma, is the name of the American hero we mourn who lost his life last week, during a raid on an ISIS prison in the area of Huwayjah, Iraq. Wheeler was 39-years old, and a 14-tour veteran to Afghanistan and Iraq.

He partook in a raid on an ISIS compound and prison that resulted in the freeing of 70 hostages who were slated for execution. The mission comes as a surprise to most of us who were under the impression that America would not have boots on the ground in the region and would be acting more so behind the scenes as advisors to those fighting ISIS in their homeland.

However, the linked video clearly shows that the United States was in complete control, if not intimately involved in the direction and advising of the rescue mission. The mission was a joint effort between the United State, Iraqi, and Kurdish forces. The intent was to free Kurdish hostages, but in surprise to all conducting the mission, the men freed were mostly Sunni Arab Iraqi captives. The men appear shell-shocked; a mixture of fear and relief. The men are all barefoot, most in their robes, others in sweatpants and shirts.

The rescuers took no chances as the hostages were Iraqis and could very well have been ISIS Jihadis, or potentially suicide bomber(s). Each hostage was searched for weapons and explosives prior to their relocation from the ISIS jail.

This was not an empty and abandoned ISIS compound. If you watch and listen closely you will hear the exchange of gun-fire between ISIS, and the United States, Iraqis, and Kurdish forces. Following closure of the rescue operation, aerial footage shows the bombing and complete obliteration of the prison.

The video is evident of the still brutal war we are physically involved in and Master Sargent Wheeler’s death is not in vain. America is saddened by his loss and stunned by his bravery and duty to God, Country, and Family.

Our prayers are with his family.

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