Saturday March 05TH 2011
Volume 3 / Number 16 / Edition 113
20 years ago this upcoming week I went on a roughly 10,000-mile trek as I returned home stateside from Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
The trek began bright and early at 0326 local time on Saturday March 09TH 1991 at Al Kharj AB Saudi Arabia. After a 7-hour and 7-minute flight westbound we touched down at Torrejon AB Spain (near Madrid). The layover was unexpectedly long – nearly 5½-hours. After that it was a 9-hour flight across the Atlantic Ocean and into Dover AFB Delaware. After a long 21½-hour day of travel I was finally back in the U.S.A. for the first time in over 2 months. After a restful night at a nice hotel in Philadelphia we flew back to Miami and then returned to Homestead AFB on the morning of Sunday March 10TH 1991. We pretty much snuck onto the base with absolutely no fanfare whatsoever. Future Gulf War returnees would be treated to celebrations and parades, but my group received nothing – aside from the rest of the month off in rest and recuperation to do whatever we felt like doing !
I felt like returning to my home-of-record up in the Washington D.C. area to spend a couple of weeks with my Dad, Mom, Brother, and two cats – and so I did. 3 days after returning to Homestead AFB from Saudi Arabia I drove 1,096 miles over 17 hours (spanning 2 days) up I-95 and back to my real home at the time. It was perhaps the greatest homecoming to my parent’s home that I’ve ever experienced in my entire lifetime – a Gulf War Veteran returning home.
People sometimes ask me what I did in the war. I actually had 2 separate jobs while serving in the desert. For 23 days I built fuel tanks. I wasn’t good at it. The 11 that I worked with thought that I was pretty much awful at it. I agreed. We parted ways. I eventually found my mad skills building BOMBS ! That’s what I did for 24 days. I loved it. I was also pretty good at it. I quickly realized that bombs were so much easier to make than fuel tanks. Who knew ?