VOICES: Remember, give thanks to those who served in Desert Storm

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Twenty-five years ago, after months of occupation, combat began to free the sovereign nation of Kuwait from a hostile invasion.

Operation Desert Storm, fought by coalition forces from 24 nations, took the battle to Saddam Hussain’s Iraqi forces who had taken Kuwait that previous year. With a decisive victory, the Kuwaiti Monarchy would be restored.

As has been the case in so many parts of the world, the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces played a role in securing freedom and freedom’s cause. The story doesn’t end there.

It is fitting this week to take a moment and look back at Operation Desert Storm; to look at the soldiers who took to the desert; to remember the ones who did not make it home. It is especially fitting to do so at Fort Campbell as freedom and the 101st Screaming Eagles seem to always travel the world together.

Operation Desert Storm would officially begin January 17th, 1991 and would come to be known to some as the 100-hour war. Every hour, every maneuver, every tactical troop movement through Iraq cutting off one of the world’s largest armies can be traced back to our Screaming Eagles.

The 101st Airborne Division moved under the cover of darkness, but always under the cloak of liberty, and blocked the Iraqi army from retreat. Ending the conflict February 28, 1991, the 101st would eventually return home to a grateful base, a grateful town, and a grateful nation.

Under the command of then Maj. Gen. J.H. Binford Peay, Operation Desert Storm deployed the whole Division for the first time in decades. Their absence was sincerely felt at Ft Campbell, Clarksville, Hopkinsville, and surrounding towns.

Many of the 101st would be deployed 12 months; some would never return. Reports from theater show the Screaming Eagles built an operations center from practically nothing, made strategic decisions with little incoming information, and planned battle under the constant threat of chemical attack.

Despite it all, they were victorious. This week we remember Operation Desert Storm and all that it accompanies. In deployment, in battle, and in protecting the sovereignty of Kuwait and her people, the United States Armed Forces rose to the challenge.

Though for these days, we especially remember and give thanks for the brave men and women of the 101st Airborne Division Screaming Eagles in another successful mission setting captives free.

Congressman Marsha Blackburn represents Tennessee’s 7th Congressional District, which includes portions of Montgomery County.

CLARKSVILLE VOICES
Guest commentary on issues of importance to Clarksville, Montgomery County and Fort Campbell. If you have an idea for a commentary, please email voices@theleafchronicle.com.

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