I recently turned 25 years old and found it hard to imagine how fast a quarter-century could fly by. I found it even more amazing how quickly our country could change.
Among all the political debate in recent months, I decided to take a moment to look back at where we were, and how it differs from where we are today.
This week, 25 years ago, was a model week of the late 80s and early 90s era. We were in the middle of Super Bowl week and we were not talking about the black vs. white quarterback or asking ourselves if it was a question of good vs. evil; we were celebrating competition and the American spirit. One of the greatest singers of all-time gave arguably one of the best renditions of the “Star Spangled Banner” that we have ever heard as the crowd was roaring, jets were flying, flags were waving and American pride was infectious. America was an exclusive club that everyone in the world wanted to apart of.
Meanwhile in the Middle East, great turmoil was growing as Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, took control of oil fields, and called-to-arms his ‘million man’ army. Enormous tension was building and the rest of the world looked to one country to right the wrong. America was at war.
We responded with a dominating force and cunning tactics.
Less than a month later, General Norman Schwarzkopf deceitfully mislead the Iraqi forces into believing that there would be a massive ground troop invasion into Kuwait. My family was in great fear at the time knowing that my father, who was a Marine during the war, was about to be involved in a D-Day style amphibious landing. However, General Schwarzkopf had in fact lied to the general public. He lied to the public, which in turn meant that he had lied to Saddam. Instead Schwarzkopf took a few Marine Divisions and a few Army Division from a western flank out of Saudi Arabia and destroyed the Iraqi army. With elegance and wit from our previous experiences, we made a mockery of our opponent.
Some say that the actual fighting took less than 100 hours. Iraqi forces pulled out of Kuwait on a road known as the ‘Highway of Death,’ or Highway 80, and once the convoy had become bottle-necked, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Navy pilots commenced the destruction. Roughly 10,000 Iraqis were killed and nearly 2,000 taken captive.
America had made things right in the world. We were proud and our service members returned to a warm welcome. We once again put on display the might of America for all the world to see.
That America is gone.