There is incredibly sad news out of Iraq today. For the first time since November, 2011, a U.S. soldier has been killed in combat in that country.

The soldier was part of a joint rescue operation that saved 70 ISIS hostages from “imminent execution.” There was a firefight, and the Pentagon says the soldier died of his injuries. Many people are asking why this happened because the U.S. military is supposed to be in a “train and advise” role in Iraq. Pentagon officials say the rescue mission was a “unique circumstance” and “not something that has played out across Iraq previously.” Pentagon officials also say that U.S. forces are not in a combat role in Iraq, nor are they in and active in Iraq.

We pray for this fallen soldier, his family, his friends, and his fellow troops. Our deepest and sincerest condolences go out to his loved ones. We thank him for his service and sacrifice to our country. We need to remember that there are still thousands of troops in harm's way in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we pray for them all.

God Bless our troops.