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.

More than 2.2 million U.S. service members served during the era and an estimated 694,550 deployed to the Gulf. An estimated 1.68 million Veterans from that era are still alive.

During January, these stories will feature Veteran experiences from a wide range of perspectives. Army and Marine Veterans tell about battles on the ground. Air Force Veterans share about their experiences in the air. Navy and Coast Guard Veterans tell about their experiences at sea. These stories will include print and video stories. The coverage starts Jan. 1.

Veterans will also provide their perspective on the legacy of Operation Desert Storm. From the first war covered on cable news to a joint service campaign that overwhelmed the opposition, Veterans will share how the war forever changed the U.S. military. The coverage will include both individual stories and overall pieces, including an interview with Army Veteran Colin Powell, who served as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during Desert Storm.

Veterans can also learn about VA research and VA’s Gulf War Registry Health Exam. This program alerts Veterans to possible long-term health problems that may be related to environmental exposures during their military service.

Veterans told these stories over the past several months. A team of VA story tellers interviewed Veterans starting in May 2020.

Where to view

People can view content at a special Desert Storm website at https://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/30-years-desert-storm/.

Content is always available on the following social media channels.

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18 Comments

  1. Willie Troy January 23, 2021 at 7:02 pm

    We did our job under leadership of two giants. The late great General Schwarzkopt and General Powell. I served with the 3AD and my sister served with a medical reserve unit from North Carolina. I salute all the service members that made it all possible. Thank you for your service.

  2. William magby January 14, 2021 at 3:17 pm

    An experience il never forget.the oil fires the kurds the humanity of my fellow brothers and sisters in arms showed .thank you

  3. Lisa Olson January 7, 2021 at 4:44 pm

    Female Veteran of the Persian Gulf War here- I was with the 800th MMC for Desert Shield/Storm and Provide Comfort.

  4. Marsha Turner January 7, 2021 at 4:15 pm

    I am not a Veteran but I work at the VA and I’m enjoying this blog and the stories and information (e.g. the uniforms) shared. Thank you to all first Gulf War Veterans. It is an honor to work with you.

  5. Rob Lougee January 7, 2021 at 3:15 pm

    There I was, watching Armed Forces Radio & Television Service (AFRTS) in my family quarters in Bamberg, Germany early December 1990, when all of a sudden a message came across stating the following units have been activated and to contact your unit immediately. The units from all across Germany where scrolling and I saw my unit 3rd BDE 1st Armored Division, this is how I found out I was going to war. Proudly served, would do it again in a heart beat. If any veteran from any period who served their country needs help obtaining benefits from the VA contact the DAV or any Veterans Service Organization. We are veterans helping veterans and all services are free. Lastly, we all knew we would see them again as we elevated main guns and watched the equipment head back to Bagdad. Soldiers simply follow orders. Whoa!!

  6. Dawnita Wilburn January 7, 2021 at 6:35 am

    7/159th AVN, Wiesbaden Germany- waiting for the call. After a long day of many, preparing POL equipment deserved a six of BUD with my buddy. Cracked the top took a sip and the phone Rang! “come back to work, its time.” We sat in silence and finnined the opened can, the last one we would see till.. NEAR BEER !!! WHAT THA !! So I’m a fuel operator/ tank driver. Pulled from my section at King Fahd Airport to become part of a transportation team to support the Brigade or, the open parking garage we lived in for four months. I was the only female driver among 17 of the coolest kats, plus the Sarge and LT. It helped being around cool peeps under the circumstances. When it was time to LEAVE, someone looking to add to his adventure decided, we should ride into the fighting zone. We had to stay on the street because the area still had IEDs. So after looking around at track tankers probably wondering why we were there, a helicopter comes in to tell us our lowboys were at the site to get our connexes. By the time we could roll up, yeah, we see them rolling Away. Transpotation waits on no one. We stuck another week. What an experience. The highlight, being awakened watching four jets circle the skies putting an end to the war, as we all stood in the sand in our underhose with our riffles and gas masks.

  7. Paula James January 5, 2021 at 5:40 pm

    Desert Storm/Shield female vet, here! Such wonderful memories. In fact, reading your comments even bought back the smell, the floral scent of burning diesel and human waste! I know this is suppose to be like a ‘pride fest’ post. I really wanted to salute Roger K Solberg! I get you! And, sadly, you were actually in a war that had a lot more fighting on both sides! I was there, in that desert, for almost 8 months with Fort Campbell 101st Airborne. I can say, that war harmed a lot of soldiers, for no reason. In my ‘zero value’ opinion, true war agendas are sometimes hidden. We won’t ever know the truth. It’s not our business, as soldiers, right? The soldiers are working on orders, always! Even if they are put in danger, these orders are always followed. When the soldiers come home, to America, they must turn around and fight the government for benefits because they were hurt by these wars! I wore that uniform with pride. To what end? I look back, 30 years later, asking that question. I see more vets suffering and not getting the help they need. The very ones who take pride in wearing their uniforms. To what end?

  8. Roger Keith Solberg December 30, 2020 at 11:15 pm

    My Opinion by;
    Roger K Solberg
    .
    I’m going to write my personal view of Desert Storm (The Gulf War) and I’m sure it won’t be a popular view by some people.
    I’m a Veteran of the Viet Nam War and you know how that turned out.
    Before Desert Storm started it was NOT popular in the publics eyes because of the way Viet Nam was fought, so pretty much ONLY the Biker population was behind our Service Men and Women and supporting them.
    So I and a LOT of my Motorcycle Friends showed up in Fremont Calif. waving our American Flags showing our support. (Shown on Channel 7 News).
    Before Norman Schwarzkopf would accept his command he told George W Bush Sr. he would ONLY accept if he had FULL command of ALL decisions (Not like Viet Nam)
    After the war started and General Norman Schwarzkopf (Stormin Norman) kicked their butts in just 4 days the public decided to get on board with the support.
    So after Norman Schwarzkopf got Saddam Hussein’s forces to surrender in just 4 days, George W. Bush makes his First HUGE mistake by stopping Norman from finishing the job, and the Second HUGE mistake was George W Bush Sr. told Schwarzkopf to let the Enemy return home and to let them take ALL their weapons home with them (DOMB !!!)
    We are the ONLY country that wins wars and always rebuilds the Countries back to better shape than before the war started. The USA will throw $$$$$$ at the countries, and bring back all their Officers to our county and make them US Citizens.

  9. Laura Schmidt December 30, 2020 at 8:10 pm

    Amen and Amen! We did! I do recall that initially my orders were cut for 90 days. Got to Beaufort and spent a week in CBRW training. There the orders were changed to 6 months. Arrived on board the USNS COMFORT TAH 20 where the orders were changed again, this time to two years. General Schwarzkopf studied Vietnam and realized that the medics/corpsmen didn’t have enough transition time when turning over and the loss of life was greater. He was hoping to avoid this. They even trained us corpsmen to suture and apply external fixation for broken bones, as there were not enough doctors and nurses in Vietnam. Thank God it didn’t happen the way we prepared for. #DesertStorm30

  10. Antony Houze December 30, 2020 at 7:36 pm

    Thank you

  11. Antony Houze December 30, 2020 at 7:34 pm

    I went to desert shield and desert storm 2/3 ada big red one but I can’t get any help

  12. Ray Gonzales Riojas December 30, 2020 at 7:34 pm

    My name is Cpl. RAY G. RIOJAS, AND I served with the 3rd Armored Division, 3/5 Cav. I was a Mortar Platoon Infantry Squad leader during Desert Shield/ Desert Storm. Who do we speak with for our experience?

  13. Ray Grimm December 30, 2020 at 7:31 pm

    When I was deployed with the 82ND Airborne Division for Desert Shield and Storm, my first daughter was three months old. I remember getting the call in the middle of the night and before walking out the door to leave, I went into the nursery and leaned over the crib and kissed her on the head and told her that I loved her. She was a sweet angel lying there asleep…little did I know, fifteen years later she would pass away from brain cancer! Her brother was conceived immediately upon my return from Iraq and thus was a Desert Stork Baby! The day he was born I believe was record breaker of the number of newborns in the hospital. My son was born off Post at Cape Fear. I was married ten years to their mother, divorced eight and remarried for sixteen and now divorced again for four years. I also have two children with that marriage, one of each and that daughter is in remission for ALL, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia! Go figure!! If you’re interested, below is a YouTube link to a short video that was produced on me and my family (about 4 minutes long) I just wanted to share with you all. Happy New Year! 2021, Here We Come!!
    https://youtu.be/xM2RifSRdw8

  14. Douglas Snyder December 30, 2020 at 7:30 pm

    I am very interested in this article. I was serving as a Drill Sergeant at Fort Benning Ga, 89 to 91 and once Desert Shield kicked off we had trainees in a cycle and had to tell them they would not be going home on leave at the Christmas break due to the importance to the military. I am telling you the trainees took the training much more serious than others before them..LOL. I was 11B but because I was considered mission essential as a Drill Sergeant we would not be deployed. We had trained our entire career for this moment and we were disappointed not to go with others. PS. late in 91 we were offered to deploy over there but all the action was a clean-up mission and we just maintained our role as Drill Sergeants and continued to train young fighters.

    • Rick December 31, 2020 at 10:39 am

      Hello there drill sergeant Synder I was an E-1 going to basic. Delta first of the 19th in 89 were you around that area I only remember a couple of drill sergeants drill sergeant Lopez drill sergeant Shannon?

  15. Marc Johnson December 30, 2020 at 7:29 pm

    Is this selective, or can anybody chime in?

  16. Ray Cerda December 30, 2020 at 7:19 pm

    Thank you for remembering. I remember laying in my rack on January 18. The line in the sand had been drawn for that day by the US Government. The Captain came on the 1MC announcing operations had commenced against the country of Iraq. It was about 1 AM in the morning and needless to say the crew was apprehensive and ready for what may come next. In the middle of the night in the middle of the Red Sea we began operations to free the country of Kuwait. What an amazing feeling and amazing journey. Master Chief Ray Cerda, USN, (Ret.)

  17. William Richards December 30, 2020 at 6:50 pm

    Would I be able to be featured in this article? I’m a Desert Shield / Storm veteran with the US Army

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