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The Storm – Part I

It was an early August evening in 1990 on the Hawaiian island of Molokai. The island had once been home to lepers and outcasts, so we Marines felt right at home training on its rugged terrain. I sat in the pitch black, ear up against a PRC-77 radio talking to one of my squad leaders…

The Storm – Part II

The flight to Saudi Arabia via commercial airlines was surreal. ‘Please place your M-16’s under your seat, muzzle facing outwards’ isn’t a stewardess instruction you’ll hear every day. We were fed every 2 hours, watched continuous onboard movies, our every whim catered to. It had just a hint of that ‘lamb being led to slaughter’…

The Storm – Part III

My memories of Desert Shield and Desert Storm are a surreal patchwork of alternately intense, funny, and bizarre moments. If war is hell, pre-war must certainly be purgatory. Waiting for George Herbert Walker Bush, the UN, and Saddam Hussein to figure out if they were going to kiss and make up, or have a little…

The Storm – Part IV ‘Line of Departure’

Sitting in the pitch black Saudi Arabian night in a reinforced fighting hole, I pulled a set of night vision goggles from their hard plastic case and strapped them on. Shivering in the surprisingly cold desert air, I looked starward and watched what seemed like an endless cloud of US and British bombers stream like…

The Storm – Part V ‘Denouement’

And so the ground war, as quickly as it had started, was ending. There was no grand pronouncement signaling hostilities were over. There was simply a subtle shift from being prepared to mow down anything that moved to resisting that impulse. We’d gone as far north as the Kuwaiti International Airport, found there was simply…