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Do you have a protagonist (at least one, if there are multiple), a plot, events it should cover etc?
I guess you should.
This particular event is something that doesn't require too much lore to be established about the world.
Perhaps you should start with a prequel instead? If you don't have plan for actual story, perhaps it is better to write chronologically, and improvise?
Perhaps it is better to let you to write the chapter, let you figure out how you feel about it.
Depends whether you want to use their involvement a mystery at least for some time.
If yes, then first chapter should be written from POV of the original character, a native one, who doesn't really know about it, American involvement is a trivia that is revealed during the course of the story...
Even if American involvement is supposed to be a mystery you can still start by writing their POV from the time they were transported to another world and then leave publishing this part later on.
Unless you have other specific character in mind, along with other specific event later in the...
If you jump in between conventional storytelling in 1st or 3rd person, and narrating, it will go against the "Show, don't tell" first advice of writing.
If a whole narration style comes to you easily, it's much easier to simply narrate all the time and pretend that story is actually a passage...
Your initial post has been written almost as it was slightly biased historical book (or at least, pseudo historical, caring to pander more than for articulacy).
Theoretically, a whole story can be written in this style, however it would demand to cover much longer time span than a normal story...
There are easiest way to get Mary Sue label: Self-inserts, universally. Original characters added into pre-established setting too, even if they aren't explicitly self-inserts.
But this isn't limited to fan-fiction, original works, amateur or professional, can get those too
Generally, as a rule of thumb, I would suggest against including any unusual conditions that aren't relevant to the plot, or aren't necessary for your motivation to write.
If something bears some significance to you, and without it you won't feel like writing anymore, it's better to include it...
It looks like one though.
I understand that you need to be able to tell that they "aren't in Kansas anymore" but those doesn't have to be anything extreme, a different moon could work just fine, or simply not being able to recognize the stars to suggest they aren't on Earth anymore, etc...
I think, yes, they would notice, apocalyptic scenarios are hard to miss in general. And visitors from another world would probably notice the correlation between absence of any stars, along with world freezing over, as sun seems to be dying out and it seems to be last sun in the universe
Why the ice age, and no stars?
Ice age is obviously a problem, how do you even feed all the population? If there are only couple of survivors, how you even have any war, or politics, except struggle how to keep warm and get something to eat?
No stars would also demand a very unique cosmology...
I don't see why this one should be an issue. Your protagonist is US military, not Al-Qaeda
I don't see much of the issue.
Americans doesn't care much about realism, only about their ego, as long as they are displayed in positive way they don't care.
SB doesn't care about realism, they only...
Well, they are Americans, what would you expect?
Either way, Americans don't care about realism as long as they are potrayed in positive light, this is how Hollywood handles things. I don't see a reason why it should work differently for you.
What do you think will interest readers more? Our world's people encounter with a fantasy setting, or fantasy's world people encounter with ours?
Who would feel more relate-able? Our world's character, or fantasy's one?
Or course, you can answer it is "both". While you certainly have both in...
I think that key point isn't to depicting them faithfully, but do so in positive light. Generally, that's what Hollywood really does.
Make them look well, and Americans will like it.
Of course, if you are still worried about faithful depiction, you can choose other nation military instead...
Instead of reminiscing, just write about actual event how they were transported to a different world, as it is a present day, otherwise it would just be narration in a different form. Show, don't tell.
I think in this particular scenario I think this scene makes a perfect scene for a prelude...
I don't have better idea either, other than trying to start in the middle of battle and hook people up on what is going to happen next.
Alternatively, start with a moment that the present day people were transported to different world.