A Post-9/11 Marine Vet Recalls His Earliest Memories Of Operation Desert Storm

Mandatory Fun

My earliest television memory other than my Saturday morning cartoon ritual was watching Operation Desert Storm occur live. And since it was the first American war to have 24-hour news coverage — and since, like many families, we only had one TV — it was the only thing I saw.

Videos and stills of attack helicopters, Tomahawk missile launches, tank charges, and explosions cyclically ran through the commentary. To this day, I still remember hearing CNN’s Peter Arnett narrate the war in his calm Kiwi accent. All of this was happening as my parents kept their eyes diligently glued to the TV.

A burned out Iraqi tank during the first Gulf WarHarv Howard

It was the biggest show of military force since Vietnam. But unlike our endeavors in the east, the U.S.-led expulsion of Iraq from Kuwait was an overwhelming victory, one that the American people desperately both domestically and geopolitically. An awe-inspiring air campaign and three-day ground war, combined with the fact that the Soviet Union was on its last legs, put the U.S. back on track as the undisputed power of the world.

Interrogation of Iraqi prisoners in 1991.Harv Howard

Sandwiched between the U.S.’s previous financial support of Saddam Hussein’s regime during the Iran-Iraq War — one that transitively funded his invasion of Kuwait — and our ongoing headaches in Iraq brought on by the 2003 invasion, Operation Desert Storm highlighted everything America could do on the international stage. The mission was clear, and it was achieved with an abundance of moral and physical support from around the world. The U.S. will never experience a war like it ever again.

A Marine sits in his L.A.V. in Kuwait in 1991Harv Howard

Plus we got Lee Greenwood out of it. So that’s sort of a good thing, I guess.

(Facebook/Naval Air Station)

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An alligator in Florida recently had zero trouble flopping over a chain-link fence to get onto a naval air base. Motorist Christina Stewart pulled over to film it, and local television station WJAX posted it on Facebook.

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Retired Lt. Col. Wallace Ward, USMA Class of 1958, marches back with the Class of 2023. (U.S. Army/Brandon O'Connor)

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Sgt. Ryan Blount, 27th Brigade, New York Army National Guard, rests in a hallway after a full day of field training, before heading back out Jan. 16, 2015, at Alexandria International Airport, La. (U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Cliffton Dolezal)

(Reuters Health) - Soldiers who experience sleep problems during basic combat training may be more likely to struggle with psychological distress, attention difficulties, and anger issues during their entry into the military, a recent study suggests.

"These results show that it would probably be useful to check in with new soldiers over time because sleep problems can be a signal that a soldier is encountering difficulties," said Amanda Adrian, lead author of the study and a research psychologist at the Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Maryland.

"Addressing sleep problems early on should help set soldiers up for success as they transition into their next unit of assignment," she said by email.

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The Armed Forces Service Medal has a green, blue and yellow ribbon and a bronze medal featuring a torch like that held by the Statue of Liberty. (U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons)

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared onMilitary.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Thousands of U.S. service members who've been sent to operate along the Mexico border will receive a military award reserved for troops who "encounter no foreign armed opposition or imminent hostile action."

The Pentagon has authorized troops who have deployed to the border to assist U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) since last April to receive the Armed Forces Service Medal. Details about the decision were included in a Marine Corps administrative message in response to authorization from the Defense Department.

There is no end date for the award since the operation remains ongoing.

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Photo: US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia

A former sailor who was busted buying firearms with his military discount and then reselling some of them to criminals is proving to be a wealth of information for federal investigators.

Julio Pino used his iPhone to record most, if not all, of his sales, court documents said. He even went so far as to review the buyers' driver's license on camera.

It is unclear how many of Pino's customer's now face criminal charges of their own. Federal indictments generally don't provide that level of detail and Assistant U.S. Attorney William B. Jackson declined to comment.

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