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History, References, and Research => History and Tall Tales => Topic started by: bayonetbrant on January 16, 2021, 11:09:34 PM

Title: 30 (!) Years Ago: Desert Storm starts
Post by: bayonetbrant on January 16, 2021, 11:09:34 PM
https://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/operation-desert-storm-began-30-years-ago-on-jan-17/JEVH7FJJHBAZ5E3QPMWTAVI6KY/

It was my freshman year of college, watching a war on TV that my dad was deployed to.
Title: Re: 30 (!) Years Ago: Dessert Storm starts
Post by: judgedredd on January 17, 2021, 02:50:43 AM
wow. Everything seems to want to remind me how old I'm getting. I saw a music program the other day titled "Was this really a hit 40 years ago"...they were - and didn't they transport me back to feistier times.

Anyway - true story about Desert Storm - or missing it.....

I met my girlfriend - Sharon - back in 1988 (she became my wife in 1993). In 1989 I was told by my unit that I would be posted soon...likely to Germany...but certainly not where I had served that last few years (Colchester Garrison) and not where Sharon lived (also Colchester). So with a chat with Sharon I decided to PVR (Premature Voluntary Release) at a cost of £750 - which she paid.

Everything was signed and I was due out in May 1990.

I found out in something like July or August that my unit was being posted to the Gulf in preparation for war. I had a chat with Sharon and decided I wanted to sign back up to be with my unit.

There was a stumbling block. The Army wanted to sign me up for 3 years. I couldn't sign up, be deployed and be demobbed when I got back. More chats with Sharon and I decided I couldn't do it.

I knew - if I was posted away, the army life and it's ways would get me and regardless of how I felt about Sharon, I'd be unfaithful and I'd lose the woman I fell in love with...so I chose love over war.

I always regretted not going with the lads I had trained with...but I knew - in my heart of hearts - this was the girl and I didn't want to lose her.

I still meet up with the lads who went every year at a reunion that they invite me to. You can't break that Army bond - although apparently you can exchange it for the right woman.

We're still married. I think I chose well. Not sure about her though  ;D

Anyway - my heartfelt respect and admiration goes out to all those who fought in defence against tyranny.
Title: Re: 30 (!) Years Ago: Dessert Storm starts
Post by: bob48 on January 17, 2021, 06:40:52 AM
Very sobering. I can remember being pretty much glued to the news channels in order to try and keep track of events.
Title: Re: 30 (!) Years Ago: Dessert Storm starts
Post by: Barthheart on January 17, 2021, 08:17:21 AM
I won an office pool on the start date and exact time of the war. Netted me $50.

When it did start I was in a hospital emergency room with a friend. We had been playing squash and he took a ball to the eye, no goggles, yeah stupid. While he was being checked out I watched it all start on the waiting room TV.
Title: Re: 30 (!) Years Ago: Dessert Storm starts
Post by: Staggerwing on January 17, 2021, 08:37:05 AM
IIRC, I was on volly duty with my town ambulance and we were dropping off a patient at the same ER I worked nights at when one of the doctors at the nurse's station mentioned it that the air war had started. We watched the news on the waiting room TV for a little while after we finished our report to the staff.

Thirty years ago...  and this year it's twenty years ago for 9/11  :o
Title: Re: 30 (!) Years Ago: Dessert Storm starts
Post by: bbmike on January 17, 2021, 09:00:42 AM
I was about 8 months away from starting my current job. Which reminds me, I retire next year!  :o  :biggrin:
Title: Re: 30 (!) Years Ago: Dessert Storm starts
Post by: judgedredd on January 17, 2021, 09:05:10 AM
I was about 8 months away from starting my current job. Which reminds me, I retire next year!  :o  :biggrin:
:bigthumb:

I won an office pool on the start date and exact time of the war. Netted me $50.

When it did start I was in a hospital emergency room with a friend. We had been playing squash and he took a ball to the eye, no goggles, yeah stupid. While he was being checked out I watched it all start on the waiting room TV.

I used to play Squash...my favourite sport before I got fat (loved chocolate more)...I didn't even know people wore glasses playing squash...never seen that.
Title: Re: 30 (!) Years Ago: Dessert Storm starts
Post by: trailrunner on January 17, 2021, 09:40:59 AM
I was working in Los Angeles at the time.  I remember listening to it on the radio in my office.

I had already accepted a job in the DC area, so we were getting ready to move.  I thought it was an exciting time to be moving to the nation's capital and to be routinely going to the Pentagon.  Looking back, it's interesting to see how DS/DS affected DoD.

Title: Re: 30 (!) Years Ago: Dessert Storm starts
Post by: Martok on January 17, 2021, 12:00:42 PM
I remember watching coverage of the war -- mostly after I got home from school, but a couple of our teachers had/let us watch it in class as well.  I was pretty riveted. 




wow. Everything seems to want to remind me how old I'm getting. I saw a music program the other day titled "Was this really a hit 40 years ago"...they were - and didn't they transport me back to feistier times.

Anyway - true story about Desert Storm - or missing it.....

I met my girlfriend - Sharon - back in 1988 (she became my wife in 1993). In 1989 I was told by my unit that I would be posted soon...likely to Germany...but certainly not where I had served that last few years (Colchester Garrison) and not where Sharon lived (also Colchester). So with a chat with Sharon I decided to PVR (Premature Voluntary Release) at a cost of £750 - which she paid.

Everything was signed and I was due out in May 1990.

I found out in something like July or August that my unit was being posted to the Gulf in preparation for war. I had a chat with Sharon and decided I wanted to sign back up to be with my unit.

There was a stumbling block. The Army wanted to sign me up for 3 years. I couldn't sign up, be deployed and be demobbed when I got back. More chats with Sharon and I decided I couldn't do it.

I knew - if I was posted away, the army life and it's ways would get me and regardless of how I felt about Sharon, I'd be unfaithful and I'd lose the woman I fell in love with...so I chose love over war.

I always regretted not going with the lads I had trained with...but I knew - in my heart of hearts - this was the girl and I didn't want to lose her.

I still meet up with the lads who went every year at a reunion that they invite me to. You can't break that Army bond - although apparently you can exchange it for the right woman.

We're still married. I think I chose well. Not sure about her though  ;D

Anyway - my heartfelt respect and admiration goes out to all those who fought in defence against tyranny.

That is indeed a heck of a choice to make, but I agree you chose well.  :bigthumb:  Thanks for sharing that, JD


Title: Re: 30 (!) Years Ago: Dessert Storm starts
Post by: bob48 on January 17, 2021, 12:20:08 PM
That is amazing, JD.

Respect!

Had a couple of people I worked with who served out there. One  as sergeant in the Para's and another who was an MP in RAF - he later joined the police force after he left the RAF. They both had some interesting stories to tell.
Title: Re: 30 (!) Years Ago: Dessert Storm starts
Post by: bayonetbrant on January 17, 2021, 12:28:44 PM
We were packing stuff up for me to leave for college
Dad's older brother lives here in Raleigh so we were going to make a family visit/road trip out of it, and get me settled at school while they visited
About 4 days before we were scheduled to leave, Saddam invaded
2 day later the base was locked down

Mom & I had to repack everything to fit into check-thru luggage and buy some plane tickets to get me to school while dad stayed behind and had to prep for a deployment, and we had to make plans for my younger brother to stay with the neighbors for a few days in case dad had to leave before mom got back from dropping me off

I was watching stuff on my room-mates shitty little 5-in b&w TV in our dorm room, and staying up waaaaay too late.

I also had 2 uber-peacenik philosophy professors in the same semester my dad was fighting a war, so that was...  interesting.
Title: Re: 30 (!) Years Ago: Dessert Storm starts
Post by: BanzaiCat on January 17, 2021, 02:26:55 PM
I was in my second attempt at college, then...I believe it was a Radio/TV/Film class. It was pretty striking being able to see news 24/7 on CNN and the Gulf War really kicked the whole 'news all the time' thing. It's an utterly unfortunate thing now considering the crap they put out there to fill the time, but back then, it was sobering.

It was a great relief to see how well things went. I recall many conversations about how unwell it might go and could blow up into a larger regional conflict, especially if Iraq managed to goad the Israelis into striking. No idea how much of a chance that really was, just recounting the talk and some news stories I remember from back then.

Lots of my high school buddies were deployed to the Middle East. One good friend I had in high school was in the 101st and was one of the first into Iraq.
Title: Re: 30 (!) Years Ago: Dessert Storm starts
Post by: bob48 on January 17, 2021, 02:34:21 PM
I remember the relief at seeing how successful the Patriots were at destroying SCUDS.
Title: Re: 30 (!) Years Ago: Dessert Storm starts
Post by: Barthheart on January 17, 2021, 08:20:06 PM
... Which reminds me, I retire next year!  :o  :biggrin:

June 30th, 2021 fer me. It's official!   :D
Title: Re: 30 (!) Years Ago: Dessert Storm starts
Post by: Barthheart on January 17, 2021, 08:22:07 PM

I won an office pool on the start date and exact time of the war. Netted me $50.

When it did start I was in a hospital emergency room with a friend. We had been playing squash and he took a ball to the eye, no goggles, yeah stupid. While he was being checked out I watched it all start on the waiting room TV.

I used to play Squash...my favourite sport before I got fat (loved chocolate more)...I didn't even know people wore glasses playing squash...never seen that.

https://sportscentaur.com/should-you-wear-squash-goggles/

My friends retina is now detached from that one hit... I feel bad about it. But 3 years later playing Ultimate Frisbee he kicked my in the face while making a play and split my lip. 3 stiches inside and 7 outside to reattach, leaving a permanent facial scar. It's a bitch to shave around.
Title: Re: 30 (!) Years Ago: Dessert Storm starts
Post by: bbmike on January 17, 2021, 08:40:53 PM
... Which reminds me, I retire next year!  :o  :biggrin:

June 30th, 2021 fer me. It's official!   :D

(https://www.aarcentral.com/emoti/worship.gif)
Title: Re: 30 (!) Years Ago: Dessert Storm starts
Post by: besilarius on January 18, 2021, 10:52:16 AM
The thing that still comes to mind is Genl Schwarzkopf's news conference.
In earlier interviews, during and before, the attack kicked off, he had mentioned that he knew things could go wrong.
That some of his people would die and that the whole operation could be a failure.  Some nights he couldn't sleep because of his worries.
During the presentation, he characterised the wide flanking maneuver through the desert as a "Hail Mary" play in football.
This term was introduced by Roger "The Dodger" Staubach.  A last second pass into the end zone, that either won the game or lost it.  A desperation play.
Well looking at the map, with V Corps moving five armored/mechanised divisions in a tight fist, that was not a Hail Mary.
That was Vince Lombardi's Packers Sweep, with Jerry Kramer and Fuzzy Thurston leading Paul Horning around the flank.
Title: Re: 30 (!) Years Ago: Desert Storm starts
Post by: mcguire on January 26, 2021, 02:09:18 PM
I was vaguely following the build up (I was working at IBM in Austin and trying to get into grad school at the time), but I missed the actual start---my first clue was that I had to badge into the parking lot rather than just drive up to the building's parking.
Title: Re: 30 (!) Years Ago: Dessert Storm starts
Post by: mcguire on January 26, 2021, 02:26:20 PM
I remember the relief at seeing how successful the Patriots were at destroying SCUDS.

The Patriot's software is (or at least was) the topic of a certain amount of discussion in computer science circles. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIM-104_Patriot#Failure_at_Dhahran (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MIM-104_Patriot#Failure_at_Dhahran).

Weirdly, the project I was working on at the time (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taligent (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taligent)) is also sometimes noted as a major software disaster.