Desert Storm anniversary remembered. What are your stories?


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Today marks the anniversary of the start of the Gulf War, also known as Operation Desert Storm. On January 17, 1991, the coalition air campaign began with massive aerial bombings of targets in Iraq and Kuwait.

VA offers a variety of health care benefits to Gulf War Veterans, including a Gulf War Registry health exam and clinical treatment at VA’s War Related Illness and Injury Study Center. See more at: http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/gulfwar/benefits/health-care.asp

VA’s Gulf War Registry Health Exam alerts Veterans to possible long-term health problems that may be related to environmental exposures during their military service. The registry data helps VA understand and respond to these health problems more effectively. See more at: http://www.publichealth.va.gov/exposures/gulfwar/benefits/registry-exam.asp

Health care clinicians can learn how to care better for Veterans by consulting a study guide, Caring for Gulf War Veterans. The guide provides the latest information from scientific studies, and includes an overview of Desert Shield/Desert Storm (1990-1991) ground conditions, top environmental exposures, and illnesses common to these Veterans. See more at: http://www.publichealth.va.gov/vethealthinitiative/gulfwar.asp

Below are a few images from that conflict.  Desert Shield/Desert Storm Veterans, what are your memories of the Gulf War?

 

Time magazine cover - War in the Gulf

Time magazine cover of the coalition’s bombing of Iraq.

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Time magazine cover of the ground campaign into Kuwait.

 

ds_abrams

A U.S. Army M1A1 Abrams main battle tank in the burning oil fields of Kuwait, Operation Desert Storm, 1991.

 

DSPSYOPTeamCartier

A U.S. Army Reserve Loudspeaker Team Attached to the Marines.

800px-Members_of_the_staff_of_the_3rd_Marine_Aircraft_Wing_stand_in_front_of_a_captured_Iraqi_Bell_214ST_Transport_helicopter_during_Operation_Desert_Storm

Members of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing stand in front of a captured Iraqi helicopter during Operation Desert Storm.

 

DS1

U.S. Army Gen. Norman H. Schwarzkopf, commander of U.S. Central Command, speaks to U.S. soldiers inside a hangar while visiting a base camp during Operation Desert Shield.

 

A-10A_Thunderbolt_II_Desert_Storm

A-10A Thunderbolt II ground attack plane flying over target area during Desert Storm, 1991

 

Photo 3_6

Not taking any chances with the threat of Iraqi Scud missile attacks, these 2/24 leathernecks are ready with their Scud pit.

 

Author

Ken Mac Garrigle

Comments

  1. TM    

    To paraphrase a better author than I; it was the best of times and the worst of times. I remember the sand storms hitting our convoy / encampment / whathaveyou and visibility going to nothing while these tiny little rocks tried to shred every piece of skin they could find. I remember thinking one of the worst rain storms of my life was about to hit when we realized it was the rolling smoke clouds from where Saddam’s troops had set the Kuwait oil fields on fire. I experienced things over there people cannot understand that have never left the US. I saw more stars at night when I took time to look up there than I have anywhere else. I saw poverty at a level I didn’t know existed side by side with wealth. Sadly I still see one person on a regular basis. One of the enemy trying to get away from us didn’t make it. The memory of his death has stayed with me ever since. As I paraphrased; it was the best of times and the worst of times.

  2. RM    

    It’s a heck of a lot of time since we were there – more than half my life ago. Was in the Army Reserves, and college, and newly married, and working a couple jobs so mobilization was a big deal and a new thing to me. Was a new E-5, a kid really, put in charge of people’s lives and our mission without any real experience. DS/DS was at times as scary as it was exciting, and it was also the hardest and best work I ever did. Our main mission was to guard EPW’s, which we started the day the ground campaign ended. They were a trip and in retrospect it was a heck of a culture clash all things considered. Am also lucky to have seen the military mobilize like that – it was amazing to witness. Came under indirect fire like a lot of people which in my book is a lot like getting shot at. I miss my team a lot and the others I served with – good people, to the last. And the job satisfaction has not been topped yet. Coming home was weird initially and being over there definitely changed me, for the better and for the worse. It would have been nice to know some things then that I know now about what and why and what services were/are available. I’d do it again, of course, but I’d also do what I could to make sure nobody had to do it again or to begin with. To all my DS/DS brothers and sisters, thanks for being there and for what you did. I salute all other veterans as well. And if you decide not to get help at the VA, get help somewhere. God bless America.

  3. ee    

    Glad to see that someone remembered…and grateful that it went as well and as quickly as it did…

  4. karen wall    

    My unit had recently arrived in Daharan awaiting our next assignment. We were staying in Khobar Towers. We were suddenly awakened at 0dark00 by these guys running through our apartment yelling “MOPP 4!” And throwing these big white pills a us to take. The next noise we heard was a very loud “pop” and saw a flash. A SCUD had been shot out of the sky by a Patriot and had come down on one of the parking structures by our building. We spent the next 6-8 hours in the building basement in MOPP 4. I was a nursing student at the time, but serving as a supply officer in my real capacity, so my CO put me in charge of tending to the ones who were in a panic to help them be calm. I believe that was the start of my career as the psychiatric nurse I am now with the VA!
    HUAH!
    Karen Wall
    MAJ, USA, Retired
    VA Palo Alto Health Care System

  5. Dr. Sri S. Sriskanda    

    It was good to be in Terre Haurem, Indiana, USA. Live transmission on CNN.

  6. JOSEPH Z ANDERS 3    

    P S I HAVE THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH
    AND I AM A US CITIZEN AND PISSED
    OFF HOW WOULD YOU FEEL BEING
    TREATED LIKE THIS I BET IT WOULD
    PISS YOU OFF

  7. JOSEPH Z ANDERS 3    

    I WAS IN THE FIRST COMBAT IN OPERATION DESERT STORM/SHIELD OF 1990/1991
    I WAS IN A COMBAT ZONE DOING COMBAT DUTY’S AND WAS PAYED EMIT
    DANGER PAY & HAZARD DUTY PAY & OVER SEAS PAY AND COMBAT PAY
    I HAVE THE PROOF BUT I WAS STILL SCREWED OUT OF THE COMBAT
    ACTION BADGE THEY SAID THAT I DIDN’T EARN IT OR DESERVE IT AND
    SO THAT REALLY PISSED ME OFF AND I WILL KEEP ON FIGHTING FOR
    WHAT I EARNED AND DESERVED HOW MANY OTHERS WERE SCREWED
    LIKE I WAS AND SO THIS IS MY STORY ON HOW A HONORABLE DISCHARGED
    ARMY / COMBAT VETERAN 100% DISABLED IS BEING TREATED BY IT OWN
    GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY THIS TREATMENT REALLY LAYS
    HEAVY ON MY HEART KNOW THAT I WAS TREATED LIKE THIS

    ONE PISSED OF ARMY VETERAN
    WHO WILL KEEP ON FIGHTING
    FOR WHAT I BELIEVE IN

  8. KJ    

    Thank you for your service…

  9. Larry L. McFall    

    I remember the situation well. I had been retired from the U.S. Army EOD field in reserve status for about 14 years when in 1990 it became apparent that I was going to have the great opportunity to serve on active duty again. By January 1991, Desert Shield was cooking and about to become Desert Storm and I would be included in the mix. Sure enough I was brought back on active duty given 32 years status and the great opportunity to serve my country. I processed in at Fort Sam Houston with all of the other old retreads and put up in a barracks that I hadn’t seen in years. We all got our physical and told to hang on, we would probably deploy. Soon we were reassigned to Army Post, mine being Fort Riley, Kansas as back fills for the units to deploy to the Gulf. As we all know soon the enemy put up their hands and gave up the battle and all of us retreads commented, Oh! darn, something like that. The recall was indeed a privilege and pleasure and is a memorable marker in my life. As a 50 year old retread for Desert Storm, I am ready at 73 to do it all over again. Thank you U.S.A. for the privilege to serve.

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