View Full Version : Memories

08-16-2010, 01:44 PM
Tell us, what do you remember about the Gulf War?

08-16-2010, 02:25 PM
I broke my ankle and was 6 months pregnant with my little marine. I laid on the couch and watched it on TV everyday. Wow thats been a long time ago.

08-16-2010, 02:32 PM
I was TDY to Zaragoza, Spain when I remember hearing the initial reports in the news that we were deploying Marines to the Middle East....and then watching their planes come through during the night. Little did I know that within 6 months time I would be right along with them wondering what the hell we had gotten ourselves into!

08-16-2010, 03:47 PM
I didn't get there until December '90. We set up our equipment and I went on night shift. It was the first time in my life I'd ever been in a desert and I remember being surprised at how cold it got at night.

08-16-2010, 05:23 PM
January 16, 1991 ~ That was the day the US and its allies started bombing Iraq, after months of diplomacy had failed. We ~ husband, kids, and I ~ were living in Navy housing at Great Lakes (Halsey Village, for anyone who cares). So I got up, got ready for work, got the kids to day care (down the street), then I headed for the main road. I was taken aback by what I saw. Traffic was backed up as far as the eye could see. After turning onto Lewis Ave., I decided it would be faster for me to walk the mile to work on base, so I managed to turn around and get back to the house. I pulled on long johns under my dress and hoofed it to work. On my way, I made a mental note of one truck. When I finally hit the main gate, I was ahead of that truck, so walking did turn out to be faster than driving that day.

And my husband, who was a master chief and less than two years from retirement, wanted to go back to sea!

08-17-2010, 02:08 PM
Check out Military Times new site honoring the Gulf War 20 years later (http://militarytimes.com/projects/gulfwar20/).

08-17-2010, 02:42 PM
Tell us, what do you remember about the Gulf War?

I was in the Guard at the time, and Desert Storm was very good for the Guard because it forced the Guard to use the experience of those in the units who had previously served in Vietnam, and that allowed us to perform better than the Regular military was expecting. We were expected to be out the door 90 Days from notification. We were on our way to our Mobilization Station in less than 30 Days. We were in Saudi Arabia by the end of October, and were able to start our missions as soon as our major vehicles caught up with us in November. This and other fast deployments by Guard units silenced the people who claimed that the Guard would never be ready for a war.

08-17-2010, 02:55 PM
Tons of memories. I remember we did a door-to-door recall, packed up and shipped a heavy equipment fleet for a RED HORSE unit of 300 people in about 3 days. The 16 hour convoy from Aviano to Camp Darby (100+ prime movers tends to move slow) through the Italian pre-Alps was pretty memorable, especially when we passed a festival that had fireworks popping off. I rode the ship with the equipment across the Med, through the Suez and around the Arabian peninsula and will never forget THAT experience. Sailing into Dhahran at 120 degrees plus was pretty unforgettable, too, wearing battle rattle and choclate chips with no idea what the situation on shore was.

Being assembled after arriving and being informed that we would be in theater "for the duration of the conflict"...well before we knew that Pres. Bush was SERIOUS about the 15 January 1991 deadline for withdrawal, since it had not yet been established. No rotation policy. The wind and sandstorms at KKMC, and the uselessness of a shower since it just made the "moon dust" stick to you.

Like Shrike, I remember how shocked I was at how cold it got at night in December and January. Building Al Kharj (PSAB) was an experience and easily the largest and most gracefully synergized project I was ever on while in the construction biz. Mail calls every day, hand writing letters home, Any Service Person letters that we were encouraged to answer because there were FAR more letters than service people, and O'Douls showing up by the case, free of charge, near the end of it all (who knew that near beer could taste so good?).

What else? MOPP level Alpha at Eskan. CNN becoming the new standard for real-time Intel. Scorpion fights and the largest reptiles I have ever seen...the 3 foot long, "run 30 mph on its' back two legs with gills flared" variety. King Fahd's offer to the president to pay every servicemember in theater an extra $1100 a month (which was a lot more money then compared to now), and the president politely declining - much to our despair. Arabic Coke cans, and making contraband wine from issued Capri Sonnes (no preservatives!) in water carbouys. Free phone calls to the States at Eskan, but being SOL if your family was in Europe. Anthrax one-time-good-deal shots that BURNED for a couple of hours, and "experimental" blood agent tablets that we politely tossed over our shoulders. Cross-hatch patterns on ther "Night Desert Camo" trenchcoats. PsyOps leaflets dropped into Kuwait urging the iraqis to surrender and even giving them instructions...which they later followed to the letter by the hundreds of thousands. Sneaking into Riyahd to place a $12 per minute phone call to my wife's work phone in Italy, since a SrA could not afford one in the home. Herfy Burger in downtown Al Kharj. The appearance of Tabasco sauce in MREs, which gave us a great way to grab samples of the desert sand as a souvenir.

A C-141 breaking 4 times in two days before we could get moving back home. Spending the night at Rhein Mein on the way home and resisting the urge to go to the Airman's Club to have a beer after 200 days of alcohol abstinence (from beer anyway...the nasty but effective Capri Sonne wine was just for Christmas Day and doesn't count in my mind)..."saving it".

So many things left an indelible mark...

08-17-2010, 10:40 PM
Bravo10000, you're stirring the memories here. The letter writing was something I'd forgotten. It's amazing how far communication has moved since then. Mail calls were the highlight of the day - it's amazing how much your morale gets boosted by a letter from home.

Oh, and I flew through Rhein-Main on the way home, too. We had about 30 hours on the ground waiting for our next flight. My NCOIC and I couldn't sleep, so we went to the Galaxy Club as soon as it opened and proceeded to drink one of each type of German beer they had while shooting pool. But what's odd is that we were still functional...I think the adrenaline from the thrill of knowing we were going home kept us on our feet.

02-17-2011, 12:02 AM
Ah, THAT war. A great one. I remember it well. That's the one where the Saudis couldn't be bothered to defend their own country, right? So the royal family called their friends the Bushes and asked if American parents would mind awfully much if THEIR kids wouldn't mind dying in the desert instead. Of course, said Mr. Bush, not a problem. We'll just play on their patriotism and their fear of higher gas prices and convince them their sacrifices will be valid.

03-18-2011, 03:14 PM
I am turning 40 this year and this war is what changed my entire life. I was on the path for 4 years of college and working at the locat paper mill. While working nights at a local hotel I was able to see the briefings given by Swartzkopf and Powell. Months later I was at basic. I am still part of the Army because of the Gulf War. Its not an appreciation moreover a realization.

03-18-2011, 11:24 PM
I remember that in Jan-Apr '91 we had the Gulf War and then in June '91 we had Mt. Pinatubo erupt in the Philippines. Eventually, we had to evacuate Clark AB and all other U.S. installations included, in the process of ending our long time military association and presence in the Philippines and getting out from under the ash of the eruption.

During the Gulf War (including Desert Shield and Desert Storm) it was a busy time at the PACOM (USCINCPAC) command center at Camp Smith, Hawaii. I was superintendent of the Cmd Ctr and the "Blue Eagle" airborne command post (9ACCS) operations and AF SEA to the J-3. During Desert Storm, it was our first time in 20 years to witness, in real-time the "actual" missile (SCUD) firings on our Missile Warnings Systems through the "Defense Support Program. (DSP)" satellites. For the first time, ever, we were providing another nation (Israel) with tactical warning of missile events. Unfortunately, because of the short distances involved, it gave them only about 5 minutes advanced warning before impact.

I remember how enthusiastic our Cruise Missile target planners were about the reports of how accurate and clever were the target route packages, when one day, in a national newspaper a cartoon depicted a cruise missile, in downtown Baghdad, idling at an intersection red light before proceeding on to it's target. Another cartoon depicted a cruise missile idling in front of a 12' wall around Saddam's Comm HQ, eventually levitating to 15' and then proceeding to and destroying the target.

We had a huge, full-time, war battlestaff, 24 hours per day and for once, it seemed, that all were excited to be at work and marveling at the swift and momentous successes of U.S. and coalition forces.

The later, mid year evacuation, closing of installations and returning of our forces from the Philippines marked the end of another era of a long-time presence in the Pacific and the loss of a great AB with a long and memorable history. (Clark was once known to Airmen as the best assignment in the AF, bar none.)

I know that many here, including myself, also have great memories of our time at Clark AB, in the PI.

04-06-2011, 01:55 PM
I was a a special weapons site in Europe. We had increased security and one true attempted entry into the restricted area (a probe). We were on standby incase things became ugly. We never deployed and watched what occurs when you have the right equipment, training and leadership to perfrom your funtion. That was probably the highpoint of the US armed forces. After that the drawdowns started to take their toll.

07-13-2013, 09:03 PM
I flew in but took the boat out. Add sneaking (under orders) to my home town guard unit to re-appropriate anything they would spare that we needed. Hitting mop4 faster than I ever thought I could when the Scud that hit the Haffar-al-batten (forgive spelling) hit its secondary boost just overhead. Cooking everything (pack-rats, lizards, snakes, camel) that may be a palatable alternative to the de-hydrated MRE's of the day, and how excited everyone was when we finally got materials to build (showers) after over a month. Shaving everything because it seemed to help with the sand mites, including each others backs...LOL. Yes it was a great time for a teen from a Mississippi swamp. Looking back I'm kinda glad now they turned me down after 9-11. And Building what is still the only relationships in my life that were truly the Brothers I never had.

07-13-2013, 09:04 PM
I was SW with 3/82FA 1CD Svc Battery. Who were you with, lja0265?

08-05-2013, 01:18 AM

I saw a post on military.com about the 870th Transportation Company and have been looking for fellow veterans who served in Desert Shield/Desert Storm as it pertains to the following: Mogadishu, Port of Dammam, Batar, KKMC and the Barge floating home. I know my unit was near the Saudi Arabia/Kuwait borders ( oil well fires), anti-chemical shots/pills (anthrax) as well as MOPP 4 during scud attacks. Anybody who served is more then welcome to respond. The specifics have been stated and need a buddy letter to add to my service connected claim. Look forward to someone responding immediately.


John Holmes