Desert Shield/Desert Storm veterans look back

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JOHNSTON, Iowa — It was 31 years ago this month Desert Shield and Desert Storm conflicts were begun to get Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait. Last August, the Iowa Gold Star Museum opened an exhibit to the Desert Shield/Desert Storm and the War on Terror.

“This was the largest call up and reserve call up since World War II,” said Mike Vogt, curator of the Iowa Gold Star Museum. “Iowa guard units, Navy Reserve, Army Reserve, and Marine Corps reserve units all participated.” 

The new exhibit has a troop carrier and a motorcycle and many items from that era, including a detailed map showing where all the troops moved to.

“Latter part of November, early December, we landed in approximately this area right in here, just gives you an overview of the entire operation,” said Joe Kuhns of Ankeny who served Desert Shield/Desert Storm.

Iowa soldiers helped with water distribution and transporting prisoners.

“We had huge bladders, 50,000 gallon bladders on the ground field full of water. We were supplying water to the French Foreign Legion in several different units,” said Kuhns.

“I joined as a mechanic and I also drove truck,” said Kevin Davis of Perry. “We hauled over 10,000 prisoners during that war, and we also logged over half a million miles in the war zone.”

Davis landed in the desert as a young kid straight out of his hometown of Perry, Iowa.

“We saw the streaks of light come across the sky which turned out to be patriot missiles knocking down Iraqi Scud missiles, and we saw a lot of that early on.”

The Gold Star Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday at Camp Dodge. You need a driver’s license or ID to get onto the base. 

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