In January, VAntage Point editor Brandon Friedman marked the 20th anniversary of the transition of Operation Desert Shield to Operation Desert Storm with a piece offering his recollections of the event as a 12-year-old.  Then, last week, VA Chief of Staff John Gingrich helped mark the same anniversary for the beginning of the ground assault.

Today, we reflect on the fact that it’s been 20 years since President George H.W. Bush declared a cease-fire just 100 hours after the ground phase of Operation Desert Storm had begun. With 543,000 troops in theater, U.S. forces had liberated Kuwait from the Iraqi Army with a barrage of airstrikes and ground combat maneuvers. To mark this anniversary, VA asked employees to send us photographs of their service during the conflict.  (Veterans make up about 30 percent of VA’s workforce—nearly 100,000 employee-Veterans.)  So take a look at the Flickr set and let us know what you think.

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Published on Feb. 28, 2011

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  1. Kevin C. Mott March 4, 2011 at 8:30 am

    I’d just like to say “Thank You” to the men and women who served as members of the United States Military with Honor and Integrity over the years. As a retired Veteran who served during this period of time it was my honor to be able to go into battle Led by top NCO’s who utilized the “lessons learned” from our past, carried them into this battle and gave them freely to us “young pups” to build the future of our military today. It was and is a wonderful feeling to be known as one of the “liberators” of Kuwait and the structure for which our country built our current military and it’s Leadership of today. We have become the military ambassadors to the world, good our bad I’m proud to say that I am affiliated with the people who are making this world safe for those who wish to live life in freedom. Thank you to all who continue this great tradition for us all.

  2. Kevin Cassidy March 3, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Awesome photo! I love how there is a parking sign between the two stealth bombers. More great military photos (current ones) at:

  3. Netter February 28, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    I will never forget any of it! I was pregnant, assigned to 15th Air Force, sending people all over, working shift work in the the “Crisis Action Team” (CAT). We sent people all over the globe, and as I have learned now, as a VA employee, never recorded any of it. We sent people to the middle east, and it is not reflected anywhere in their records. My favorite “war story”, is not sending personnel to Saudi Arabia, Guam, Diego Garcia, or Moron AB in Spain, all on “blanket” orders, to a Provisional Air Wing, ensuring that they would never be able to prove they were there! One of our troops that was sent to Guam, decided he didn’t need to be there, so he just hopped on a KC-135 with his blanket orders and came home. My son was born on the 21st, PST, just as the groundwar began. I may be a sorry mother, but I really felt left out… all I had trained for, for 14 years, was getting excercised, FOR REAL! And I was having a baby! lol!

    • Karen March 1, 2011 at 8:53 am

      Sorry to be off topic, but this is an issue I really think needs to be addressed!


      Have you approached any “higher ups” in the VA about how the documentation wasn’t done? Perhaps some kind of statement from you, & if you can find them, some of your coworkers, could be the proof that people were sent to the places they say they were. Then the AF, & in turn the VA, would have to acknowledge that the “paper” never existed.

      Perhaps some kind of “flag” could be put into the VA system that would direct adjudicators to the statement, if the veteran served within a certain time frame & organization.

      It’s these kinds of situations that are so frustrating & it’s time that DOD & VA accept that some records were never created in the first place, while others were destroyed in accordance to record retention & destruction schedules. That applies to those who were in combat zones as well as those who were not.

      • Brenda Hayes March 1, 2011 at 7:41 pm


        Great Idea. I suggested that there needs to be a place on the Blog to put in Problem: Solutions: format.

        You might post it also in the Innovation Awards blog.

        So obvious for a possible solution to a lot of Veterans dealing with the same thing.

        It would be great if they could forward this to the Under Secretary that this would come under; with a copy to the Director (to see what exactly was done).


        Vetwife Advocate

  4. Jeffrey Brown February 28, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    As it happened, I received an honorable discharge due to a physical disability (shipboard fall damaging both knees)21 days before Iraq invaded Kuwait. I was back in the vicinity of my hometown, Atlanta, learning a new profession (911 dispatcher). I watched from home as my buddies in my squadron (Attack/Strike Fighter Squadron 22 “Fighting Redcocks” aboard Big E), along with many others, opened a Fine, Fine Navy can of kick-ass without me.

    No rational person hopes for war, but frustration is a natural response to training endlessly for a mission, only to be side-lined when the ordnance under the wings is no longer painted blue.

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