for American Legion Post #142; Hominy, Oklahoma.
>>> by Gary Lanham
We had a great time at the weekly Monday morning breakfast last Monday. I renewed my membership with the American Legion with our treasurer Jack Cross, and celebrated with the gang over a biscuit with gravy provided by Post Adjutant Eli Prater, and fellow fly boy Jerry Sebert. We discussed our pending Installation Ceremony which, as of last word, will be Thursday evening August 8th at the Post. Looks like a feast will be provided between the Auxiliary and members of the Post. Post Commander Jim Frazier is moving up in rank, as our District Vice Commander and Charles “Doc” O’Leary will step up to the leadership role for Post 142.
During this event we will also formally present the American flag and State flag flown over the State capitol last March by House Representative and local hometown favorite Sean Roberts and Governor Fallin’s Veteran’s Affairs lead Rita Aaron (Retired Major general). The flags have been encased in beautiful custom made frames, as well as the formal declaration presented on behalf of the Governor to our post.
This coming Friday marks the day President George Herbert Walker Bush ordered the organization of Operation Desert Shield, in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait (August 2). The order prepared American troops to become part of an international coalition in the war against Iraq that would be launched as Operation Desert Storm in January 1991. Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and hard-line Iraqi nationalists had always believed Kuwait should be part of Iraq, but nationalist propaganda aside, acquiring control of Kuwait’s oil fields was Hussein’s primary interest. In addition, control of Kuwait represented a strategic military objective should Iraq be forced into a war with its western-friendly Arab neighbors.
Hussein calculated incorrectly that the United States and the United Nations, who were closely tracking Iraq’s military buildup along Kuwait’s borders, would not try to stop him. However, when Iraqi ground forces entered Kuwait on August 2, 1990, President Bush immediately proclaimed that the invasion “would not stand” and vowed to help Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in their efforts to force the Iraqis from Kuwaiti land.
On November 29, 1990, the United Nations Security Council authorized the use of “all means necessary” to remove Hussein’s forces from Kuwait, giving Iraq the deadline of midnight on January 16, 1991, to leave or risk forcible removal. Negotiations with Iraq failed.
Just after midnight on January 17 in the U.S., Bush gave the order for U.S. troops to lead an international coalition in an attack on Saddam Hussein’s army. U.S. General Norman Schwarzkopf led “Operation Desert Storm,” which began with a massive bombing of Hussein’s armies in Iraq and Kuwait. The ensuing campaign, which is remembered in part for the United States’ use of superior military technology, introduced the term “smart bombs” to the global vernacular—precision-bombing devices aimed primarily at destroying infrastructure and minimizing civilian casualties. In response, Hussein launched SCUD missiles into Saudi Arabia and Israel. Iraq’s use of SCUDs, notoriously inaccurate weapons designed to terrorize civilian targets, nearly succeeded in inciting the Israelis to retaliate. Hussein hoped an Israeli military response would draw neighboring Arab nations into the fight on Iraq’s side, but he again made a grave miscalculation. Bush reassured Israelis that the U.S. would protect them from Hussein’s terrifying SCUD attacks and Israel resisted the urge to retaliate. Soon after, U.S. –installed Patriot missiles destroyed SCUD missiles in flight and further foiled Hussein’s plan to goad Israel into a holy war.
Following an intense bombing of Baghdad, U.S.-led coalition ground forces marched into Kuwait and across the Iraq border. Regular Iraqi troops surrendered in droves, leaving only Hussein’s hard-line Republican Guard to defend the capital, which they were unsuccessful in doing. After pushing Hussein’s forces out of Kuwait, Schwarzkopf called a ceasefire on February 28; he accepted the surrender of Iraqi generals on March 3. (thanks to History.com)
Our regular meetings are the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month at 1900 hours (7:00 PM). Our Monday morning Koffee Klatch meetings have started back up thanks the Post Adjutant Eli Prater and Jerry Sebert. Over biscuits and gravy (or waffles) we will keep up on each other’s mischievous doings. It run generally from 7 am to 9 am. I know I am going to be there! If you are a veteran come join us. You will have a good time. And if you have a good story it may end up in print.