I served in the United States Marine Corps from 1987 to 1993. I was a forward observer with my artillery unit, H Battery, 3/14, a reserve unit out of Richmond VA. We were mobilized during Desert Storm for about six months in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. As a forward observer, I spent most of that time with 1/1 Infantry Company out of Camp Pendleton. I won a Navy Achievement Medal for bravery in combat. Below is a picture of the "F.O." team. This is us at a "Tent City" camp after the conflict was over. For that month we waited to come home, it was volleyball all day and spades all night. Which would have been pretty cool if there were girls or beers around. From left, we are Brian Aud, Jeff Brown (deceased), LCpl Mundy, me, and Dave Sharry. That's me and Sharry on the right, shortly after we reached and secured our final objective, Kuwait International Airport. We were covered in the soot of a thousand oil fires that Saddam had detonated to impede our assault.
I made some great friends and learned some great lessons in the Marine Corps. I know how to overcome adversity and I know how I perform under fire. Not many people can say that. We lost one of our Marines in Kuwait, LCpl Gregory. He was 20 years old with a son on the way. I think of him every Memorial Day.