In January 1991, members from all five military branches joined a coalition to push out Saddam Hussein’s forces from Kuwait for Operation Desert Storm.
During January 2021, VA will profile these Veterans in a series of stories for Desert Storm’s 30th anniversary.
Though it was first designed in 1962, finalized in 1976, and then standardized in 1990, the Desert Battle Dress Uniform (DBDU)—affectionately known for its “chocolate chip” or “cookie dough” camouflage patterns—defined the U.S. military era known for a single event: Operation Desert Storm.
Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Bill Richards, who served with the 24th Infantry Division during the Gulf War as an infantryman.
Dan Zedan chokes up as he remembers saying goodbye to his children when he went off to war 30 years ago. “I’ll never forget that night. Forgive me if I get emotional,” he said. Zedan, a Coast Guard Reserve commander at the time, served more than six months in Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He spent the first two months as a liaison to the Joint Task Force, planning and executing the war. Then he took command of Port Security Unit 302, protecting ships coming into the Bahrain harbor and advising their Coast Guard. The U.S. Coast Guard never mobilized …
On the evening of Jan. 16, 1991, Jacky Frawner was in a weight room when he heard his skipper come across the shipboard public address circuits, also known as the 1MC. The alert let the sailors aboard USS Paul F. Foster they were about to transition from Operation Desert Shield to Operation Desert Storm. USS Wisconsin was supposed to fire the first Tomahawk missile. However, the mission shifted to the USS Paul F. Foster. Within hours, Frawner and his shipmates would be part of the opening shots of Desert Storm.
Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Michael Rodriguez, who served as a medic with the 5th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital during the Gulf War.
Marine Veteran and Desert Storm Veteran Matt Malone went from self-described troubled youth to superintendent of Fall River Public Schools in Massachusetts.
Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Marine Corps Veteran Dawn Stratton, who served during the Persian Gulf War in the 7th Marine Expeditionary Brigade.
In U.S. wars prior to Desert Storm, military spokespeople would answer questions, then wait for the next day’s newspaper clippings or the nightly news to see developments. Desert Storm changed that, when reporters broadcast the war as it happened.
Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Joanne Palella, who served as a truck driver transporting explosives during Operation Desert Storm.
The U.S did not take long to respond to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein occupying neighboring Kuwait Aug. 2, 1990. Five days later, President George H.W. Bush ordered Americans to the region to start Operation Desert Shield. Air Force Veteran Howard “Pip” Pope, commander for the 71st Tactical Fighter Squadron, was among the first American forces to arrive. Leading a squadron known as the “Ironmen” flying F-15s, they deployed with little notice in a matter of days. After a 14-hour flight from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, they arrived at Dhahran Air Base in Saudi Arabia. Pope kept a diary of the events, excerpts of which follow.
In January 1991, members from all five military branches joined a coalition to push back Saddam Hussein’s force out of Kuwait for Operation Desert Storm. During January 2021, VA will profile Veterans through stories for Desert Storm’s 30th anniversary.
- Free to eligible Veterans and no co-payment
- Not a disability compensation exam or required for other VA benefits
- Enrollment in VA’s health care system not necessary
- Based on Veterans’ recollection of service, not on their military records
- Veterans can receive additional registry exams, if new problems develop
- Veterans’ family members are not eligible for registry exams
VA’s Gulf War Registry Health Exam alerts Veterans to possible long-term health problems that may be related to environmental exposures during their military service. The registry data helps VA understand and respond to these health problems more effectively.
Contact your local VA Environmental Health Coordinator about getting a Gulf War Registry health exam.