Magazine article VFW Magazine

VFW Employee-Persian Gulf War Vets Reflect on War's 25th

Magazine article VFW Magazine

VFW Employee-Persian Gulf War Vets Reflect on War's 25th

Article excerpt

Thomas Hardy, Army

Clerk typist, 3rd Bn., 8th Cav Regt., 3rd Armored Div.

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait

Dec. 24,1990-May 4,1991

Overall, I would have to say ?no' to the question of whether Persian Gulf War vets have received the appropriate amount of respect and recognition from American society in the last 25 years.

During the campaign, it was great. All the care packages and pen pal letters (especially for those with no family) made us feel special at that time. Even a few months after the war, when people had yellow ribbons on their houses and trees-it was something to remember.

But that euphoria soon faded away and the war forgotten.

Most movies about the Persian Gulf War have been totally "Hollywood." Nothing about them are factual. They didn't touch on the fact that you had these 19- and 20-year-old guys over in the middle of the desert for an undetermined amount of time, not knowing exactly why we were there or when we were going home.

Even today, I don't talk about it because it seems like that war didn't stand up to the more violent wars that preceded it, that is, Vietnam. We weren't chastised and spit on like Vietnam vets, but it still hurt the same that we were/ are considered an afterthought.

Desert Storm was more a psychological war than anything else, in my opinion-for both the younger and older soldiers. It was the first ?real' war in years [between Vietnam and Afghanistan], and I think a lot of soldiers did not know how to deal with it.

John Muckelbauer, Marine Corps

Vehicle commander, B Co., 4th Light Armored

Inf. Bn., 2nd Marine Div.

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait

Dec. 26,1990-April 24,1991

Veterans of the Persian Gulf War received, in my view, more than sufficient respect and recognition from the American public. In fact, for me, when I returned, I was not prepared for the amount of recognition we received. For many of us, even those of us who actually engaged in Oghting the enemy, the outpouring of support seemed misplaced.

Looking back, I understand that America needed to celebrate its military and our accomplishments. It was such a far different response than that which the previous generation experienced. There was almost a collective guilt in accepting the recognition that we received.

We seemed to beneOt not just for our own accomplishments, but for those of the prior war generation who were not appropriately recognized. We were grateful, but it was almost overwhelming.

David Prohaska, Air Force

AircraO armament systems technician, 379th Munitions Maintenance Squadron

Saudi Arabia, Dec. 28,1990 - March 9,1991

I am not sure one joins the military for the recognition and respect. Nor do I think serving in a conlict, such as the Persian Gulf War, qualiOes me to determine what is an appropriate amount of recognition and respect. It was an allvolunteer force; I am happy with a simple 'thank you for your service.'

Fictional movies based on the 'events' tend to portray' the veteran as the bad guy or sensationalize reality'. So I have not paid much attention to them. However, I believe the documentaries and books (non-Oction) have represented the war sufOciently.

Music seemed to be more to rally the support of the American people and encourage supporting the troops (during the conlict). I am unaware of anything recently that commemorates those who served in the Persian Gulf War. …

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