A Shield and a Sword

I remember in 1990 this week Iraq invaded Kuwait, seizing control of the oil-rich emirate. The day came to be known in Kuwait as “Black Thursday.” 330 Kuwaitis died during the occupation and war. Sadam Hussein, leader of Iraq, took over Kuwait. George Bush senior led an inter-national coalition for sanctions and a demand for withdrawal. The Iraqis were later driven out in Operation Desert Storm. I was on active duty and it wasn’t hard to realize what that might mean to me and my brothers and sisters in uniform and our families.

Soon Desert Shield was established changing to Desert Storm. I came in to the service in the last few years of Vietnam, watched the Panama conflict. All of our veterans understand when the “balloon goes up” regardless of our political leanings we raised our right hand and pledged to defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, and to obey the orders officers appointed over us. In short order the US led coalition drove Hussein’s forces out in a dramatic fashion.

I was on a directed mission to travel by C-130 (cargo plane) to Reno Nevada on behalf of my commander when the word came down that Desert Shield had become Desert Storm. My C-130 was immediately diverted overseas and I was left to think “hitch hike home?” Fortunately, I caught a lift on another USAF heading to the fight passing through Oklahoma.

Guess my point is that so few understand the risks and trials our veterans face. The world is an ever changing canvas. I think it is a good reminder that every veteran you meet ran that risk. Every current solder, sailor, or airman live with that risk every day. Some signed up for the college benefit, some because things are financially tough, but all said the oath and we need to honor them and those that served before them like the patriots of the Post 142 Hominy Oklahoma.

Our regular meetings are the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month at 7:00 PM. On the 1st Thursday we are treated to Chef Sebert’s culinary treasures at 1800 hrs. The Officer Installation banquet for the Post and Auxiliary will be September 2nd. The Monday morning Koffee Klatch meeting for August are still scheduled for biscuits and gravy and maybe a waffle or two and always a cup of Joe (coffee to the civilians). Keep your eye on the weather in case things have to be postponed. Be sure to watch the heat this weekend and drink plenty of water for the next day’s activities. If you are a veteran come on by. If you have a good story it may end up in print. Also keep up with us at website “americanlegion142.org”.

About Gary Lanham

Authors the weekly article "News from the Hut", about local American Legion Post #142 in Hominy, OK. Read his weekly articles in the "Hominy News Progress".
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