9 January 1991 ~ The days are going by fast. Soon, I will leave my family behind and depart for Saudi Arabia. It won't be easy, I know. I wish I could give them a return date to shoot for as a goal. I can't.
10 January 1991 ~ Another rainy, miserable day at Fort Bragg. I packed a box for myself and shipped it to the address given to me by my unit in Saudi Arabia. Fasted lunch. Began packing my individual gear. "Many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast...(Matthew 8:11)."
12 January 1991 ~ Took my kids, Aaron and Jacquie to Hardee's for a long lunch and talk. A discussion about the possibility of death and a new "daddy" was raised. I took my wife, Trena, out on a date tonight. We talked, looked at each other; we held hands.
13 January 1991 ~ The day is difficult for me. I'm working through it. Trena and I spent time together, just holding each other. She's a great wife. I so much look forward to coming back home to her; to spend the rest of our lives together.
14 January 1991 ~ Words cannot express my feelings. I need the peace that is beyond understanding.
15 January 1991 ~ Green Ramp. I boarded a C-5 galaxy jet at 0330. A three-hour stop-over in Massachusetts allows me to call home and talk to Trena and the kids! Six and a half hour flight to Madrid, Spain. No phones. Manifest call later tonight.
16 January 1991 ~ We are descending into Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. It is 1125 local, 0325 eastern. Waited at the airfield until 1830 before boarding a C-130 to Riyadh, the capital. Found a ride to Eskan village and to a villa where other officers from the 4th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne) were living.
17 January 1991 - Finally got into bed around 0100 hours, local. There was another officer sleeping in the bed on the far side of the room. I kept it dark, stripped off my uniform, climbed into the empty bed, and "crashed." A little more than 2 hours later, a loud knock on the door startled me awake. The other guy jumped up to open it, probably surprised that someone else was in the other bed. "Get into MOPP level 2," The voice yelled when the door opened. We began our attacks on Baghdad and Desert Shield was now Desert Storm.
18 January 1991 - Seven Scud missiles landed in Israel. The one aimed for Dhahran was intercepted by a Patriot air defense missile.
25 January 1991 - Alarm sirens rang through the city of Riyadh. A Scud missile was heading our way. Several of us ran up two flights of stairs to the roof and donned our protective masks. A red streak descended in an arch towards us. Two thunderous booms followed two orange streaks racing to meet the fiery red scud. One of the Patriot missiles met its mark with another cracking boom. "Wow!" Others yelled pointing towards the impact. Cool firework display, I must say. The evening show was over.
8 February 1991 - Found out this morning that I will most likely be transferred to the I-MEF, the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. They were located along the front, somewhere in the desert. I'll tell Trena that I'm being transferred out of Riyadh, closer to the coast.
13 February 1991 - Left Eskan village around 0530 with LTC Jones, the commander, Major Murray, and the Sergeant Major. Called the florist the night before and had a bouquet of flowers delivered to Trena's classroom. During a gas stop in the middle of nowhere, LTC Jones had gas splash into his eyes. I used one of our large water bottles to flush his eyes and bring relief. We arrived at the transient point, a Reserve-based truck stop near the coast. Major Gerblick, soon to be my new boss, was not there to pick me up. The other three shook my hand, wished me well, and headed back. Major Gerblick arrived much later. I threw my gear into the back of the Hummer and we headed north towards Kuwait into the darkness. I was trying to absorb everything as he rambled on and on about our time to shine. His animated excitement caused his lit cigar to swarm around like a firefly.
14 February 1991 - I didn't even see where we ended up last night, close to the border though. We were up before light to move westward. Sand everywhere kicked up by the mighty military machines of the U.S. Marines.