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Soldier rescued in Afghanistan

House Blenders: “Radical” Russ is your barista for the next few days while Pam is on vacation for her anniversary.

I promised myself I would lead with good news for the Independence Day holiday.

(Washington Post) U.S. forces rescued a member of a U.S. special operations reconnaissance team in the rugged mountains of northeastern Afghanistan Sunday, five days after the team went missing amid hostile fire, according to a U.S. defense official.

The official said that the search continues for three other members of the team still missing in Konar province near the border with Pakistan. All four men are Navy SEALS, he said.

Excellent news. I want each and every member of our armed forces to have a safe Fourth of July, and more than anything, I want them all to come back home alive to spend the next Fourth with their families. I hope the other three SEALS are found unharmed as well.

But I didn’t promise myself that I wouldn’t report the rest of the news.

Also on Sunday, a member of Afghanistan’s influential council of clerics and prominent supporter of President Hamid Karzai was shot and killed by unknown gunmen in the southern city of Kandahar.

I mourn for the man’s family. Still, we are making progress in the region…

U.S. and Afghan forces, meanwhile, have been engaged in an aggressive effort to flush the militants from their hideouts — prompting a series of fierce battles in which more than 300 insurgents have been killed.

… Forty-five U.S. soldiers have died since April, in addition to scores of Afghan forces.

I mourn for all of these people’s families, too.

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