It was twenty years ago this week that Iraq invaded its neighbor, Kuwait. I normally try to avoid the political side of war-- I have enough to deal with just with what I remember-- but every year at this time, I note that another year has gone by and we're still there. I supported the decision to go in 1990, and I support the decision to go back to Iraq in force for Gulf 2. It sort of tweaks a nerve for me when people, politicians and otherwise, toss withdrawal dates around. The troops are coming home, mark your calendars. It's a good thing to say if you're trying to get (re)elected, but it's a lie.
One could argue that the story begins before August 2, 1990. I'll leave it up to you to do your own research, and make your own decision on that.
My unit was disbanded not long after Desert Storm ended, caught up in the reshuffle and drawing down of the mid 1990's, so I do not have a unit that's in action that I can say is "my unit". I do stay in contact with some of the people from my unit from the Desert, and there is talk of a reunion at some point. I think it would be a good thing. While I can't say I liked everyone from my shop, I can say I enjoyed working with all of them. We were a typically dysfunctional family that got a lot of shit done.
And, I miss it (and them) sometimes.
Today I keep track of world events enough to know in general what's going on, and no more. It's not that I don't care. I do care, but I care too much. It's easy to get online and start collecting must-read links to blogs and news sources that offer a play-by-play of the War, be it the war in a particular theater or the state of the war in general. One of the things that I began to learn how to do in PTSD therapy was look at the danger in the world, and assign it a perspective-- yes, there are places in the world that are dangerous. Am I somewhere that's dangerous? No. I'm not, so no need to act like I'm somewhere that's a dangerous place. Reading or watching the news too much is like pouring gasoline on a fire-- it takes one's sense of danger and flares it up so high it singes the hair off of those standing too close.
There are those times, like this week, that I stop and look back. August 1990 seems so far away, and yet it seems so close-- and those few months changed so much for me.