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It looked like Hades

It was January 16, 1991. I was part of the 7th Engineers battalion, Engineer support Company. We went that morning right after the combat engineers blew a path for the grunts and armor to move across the burns and into the mine fields of Kuwait. We had a 24 truck convoy. Our supplies were for the battalions forward units. We thought we’d go right in, but there were so many trucks all trying to use the same small path into Kuwait, it took until noon to finally find out battalion forward. I remember our trucks were being unloaded while we sat around smoking, joking and having a relaxing time.Then out of no ware, it started t get dark. At first it was this black silk thing moving between us, and the sun above. We all stood up an someone yelled, fires. There were these small fires all around us. Our convoy commander, a staff sergeant ordered everyone back into our trucks. In mine, I sat there and watched as this black silk covered my windshield. Within an hour, the sun and sky above were gone. The darkness was everywhere. I looked around to the distant fire and said out load to myself, “It looks like Hell. It looks like what Hades would look like.” The oil fires from the fields around us an hour earlier where only pumping oil were now in flames. The black smoke filled the air. I saw some guys standing outside with their gas masks on. There had been no sirens or any mention of chemical attack, so I figured it was the black smoke.

We returned that afternoon to sunshine again in our battalion area. Showers were working and our racks felt good that first night of desert Storm. The next day our trucks were loaded and we were off again. When we got to battalion forward, we could see the oil fires burning, but a breeze had come during the night and the sun was once again above them. We also noticed battalion forward was moving farther into Kuwait in order to keep up with the advancing Marine. Our grunts and tanks were pushing the Iraqis back so fast, the battalion had to move with them at the same speed. We drove our trucks deeper into Kuwait and set up in an open area. The bull dossers immediately began creating a burn around Forward, After unloading we trucked back to battalion.

The night of Hades was over but will live in our minds forever. I never fired my weapon while in the Gulf War, but I carried a lot of supplies to our froward positions. and many times during those runs, it was common to come under enemy artillery attacks. I often thought, what was worse. An enemy soldier you can aim in on and fire, or an enemy artillery round you can not see, until it explodes and you a KIA.


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