GULF WAR

Day Became Night and We Saw Hell†††

1990-1991

†††† On February 24th the Marines 4,000 strong punched and thrust in to Kuwait. Task Force Ripper and that is just what the Leathernecks were Rippers. Many DoDís media pool members in large numbers were present. However one network television news crewmember chose to find another Marine unit with less dangerous mission. Though some reporters seemed a bit uneasy, the same could not be said for the Marines and Sailors hours before attack.

† The 7th Marines Chaplain =LtCmdr. Joseph Matoush quoted some words from Shakespeare then he added if Shakespeare were here and alive today, heíd probably add ď Letís go kick some assĒ. Knowing that the Iraqiís tank force out numbered the Marine tanks. None of this mattered the toilet had done been flushed. Didnít matter about tanks, man power etc. it was time to Kick Ass. At 7a.m. on the 24th of Feb. with chemical suits and boots and farther away tankers from 3d Tank Bn checked the mine plows and newly installed mine rollers on their M60 tanks. Even farther away the cannon cockers of 3rd Bn, 11th Marines could be seen moving their big guns into column formation.

†† Twelve kilometers southwest of the heel of the Kuwaiti border, Ripper uncoiled itself moving silently north. In many ways it resembled a giant version of the desertís brown viper, a snake the Marines learned to respect during their stay in the Saudi desert. Then at 7a.m. on the 24th, Ripper struck the first obstacle belt. Air support from 3d MAW came in two-plane attack waves every 7 minutes apart. Then HMMWVs fanned out to provide over watch firepower, then the 11th Marines positioned their 155mm howitzers to provide direct fire power and support. Yes, the Marines had since past the thought of anything except Fight. Trained to take out the Enemy whom ever the enemy may be.

†† Dozens of Soviet-made tanks and armored personal carriers were taken out by the Marines. By noon on Feb.27th it became apparent that Ripperís role-the Marines had done their job and the coalition forces began sweeping through Kuwait City. During the 3-day attack-war, hundreds of enemy tanks and APCís were destroyed while capturing more than 9,000 prisoners. What had once been the light of day now had turned to what looked like Hell itself. Between fire and smoke no one could see even their finger in front of their face. But this would not last too long. The Marines already had the airfield occupied in Kuwait.

††† For years to come military strategists would try to study the clockwork precision of Ripperís tactics. Charts, graphs, maps, pictures and textbooks will spell out how weapons were employed, tanks were maneuvered and obstacles were over come.† But no where among all the data will there be a way of measuring or accounting for the one Major Factor in Ripperís winning equation= that is the individual spirit and confidence of the Marines themselves. This Spirit is what won this war, allowing a few good Marines to fight a very good battle and have a Victory.

††† As one Marine recalls mortar rounds and artillery but then PSY-Ops didnít want to be left out. Air power was called in Hueyís and F16s . We had 32-stacked waiting for the call. We were pinned down, the Hueyís with big speakers in the doors flew over head and played the Star Spangle Banner by Boston, it was so loud it vibrated the ground, in force our Spirits joined and we soared. All the way through Kuwait and on out headed for Baghdad and for one who had caused it all Hussein. Prepared to finish the entire job, but we were pulled back, and stopped by President Bush.Some donít know we lost some of our own and yes we also have POWís and MIAís. The truth is always covered up and it is hid from the people of the United States. After all who really cares this is how many of our Veterans feel from all wars, Who Careís? Some Gulf War Veterans feel like even though they fought and could have been killed and many of them are suffering today. The Gulf War Veterans feel like people donít look at this war as war because it ended so soon, unlike the Vietnam War that seem to go on forever. Many of the Gulf War Veterans are suffering physical and mental illnesses from the war. Now our government has elected to call their suffering the same as Vietnam Veterans, they call it PTSD Syndrome Ė Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Syndrome. However the same as the Vietnam Veterans know about Agent Orange so do the Gulf War Veterans with the Nerve Agents and Chemical and Biological exposures.

†† Working with Veterans and assisting them and being under the umbrella of the National Vietnam & Gulf War Veterans Coalition I understand more than John Q. Public does. With all Wars there is tragedy and a price to pay. However for any and all of our Veterans they deserve to be taken care of and acknowledged for their service for all.

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Iím A Marine

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The Veteran sit quietly as his body shook, and his hands trembled
With mental pain and no control, a flashback from his sad past
Burned in his memory, as tears welled up and fell from his eyes
A scene he doesnít talk about, too painful but itís eating him alive

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He joined the military and served a decade and a half with no War
Now thousands of miles away from his home, reality has sunk in
His orders came it all happened fast to him, this he had waited for
His thought Iím a Marine, ready to go, Proud to serve his country

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Proud To Serve, a Pride carried in his heart for his love of the Corp
Keeping Freedom so Freedom may ring, Iím a United States Marine
Once a Marine always a Marine, Iím called a Leatherneck too
Trained by the Best, Iím the Best, and proudly wear red, white and blue

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Leatherneck, Lean, Green Fighting Machine and other names too
We are the first to clear the way, take the ground and hold position
Making the way for our brothers, Army, Air Force, Navy my job to do
We all make up the most Elite Fighting Force that you will ever see

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Dedicated and devoted my spirit soars high; I will be a Marine when I die
Iím the strongest and programmed to kill and never program to cry
Iím programmed not to show emotions, war movies make me break down
I hear the National Anthem played and get tears in my eyes, I try to hide

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I really canít talk about the war, I get too upset and feel sick inside
Several of my buddies already have tumors, I want be able to sleep
The doctors give me pills say they will help, but hell they never will
But Iím a Marine and if I was ask Iíd go again, and I wouldnít stop

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Iíd go all the way to Baghdad and kick that fat SOBs evil ass
But I need to forget thatís what my doctors say, I think he is crazy
Because he never saw day turn to night, & walk through a mine field
Iíve seen Hell right here on earth, I saw it in the fires of the Gulf War

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I think I have told you enough about me, just remember Iím a Marine
Donít look at my hands shake, and I hope Iíve made some sense to you
Hope you understand, Iíve enjoyed your visit, drop by sometime again
But donít ask me about the war, I donít want to think about it no more

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To all men and women who served in the armed forces of The United States Humbly America Thanks You.† And May God Bless You All.

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