Kuwaiti Troops Recall Invasion, Friendships Forged

AL-SUBIYA, Kuwait, Feb. 26, 2011 — Kuwaiti Capt. Adel Khu­bert was just a 10-year-old boy when Sad­dam Hussein’s Repub­lic Guard screamed over the bor­der from Iraq and took Kuwait by siege Aug. 2, 1990.
It was a scary time, he recalled. The images that flashed across the family’s TV screen revealed the ter­ror unfold­ing through­out Kuwait. “I felt ter­ri­ble because we had lost our coun­try,” he said.

 20th anniversary of Operation Desert Storm, Feb. 26, 2011
Kuwaiti army Capt. Adel Khu­bert, low­er left, was just a 10-year-old boy when Sad­dam Hussein’s Repub­lic Guard invad­ed Kuwait. Today, he and his fel­low sol­diers are cel­e­brat­ing the 20th anniver­sary of their country’s lib­er­a­tion dur­ing Oper­a­tion Desert Storm, Feb. 26, 2011.
DoD pho­to by Don­na Miles
Click to enlarge

But just as clear­ly as those dark, uncer­tain days, Khu­bert remem­bered the jubi­la­tion that over­took Kuwait when the coali­tion freed it from Saddam’s bloody grip Feb. 26, 1991. “We were so hap­py,” he said. “We were lib­er­at­ed from a tyrant.”

Serv­ing for the past six years in a Kuwaiti artillery unit, Khu­bert said he and his fel­low Kuwait­is have much to cel­e­brate today as they com­mem­o­rate the 20th anniver­sary of Kuwait’s lib­er­a­tion dur­ing Oper­a­tion Desert Storm.

Kuwait pulled out all the stops today to com­mem­o­rate three major mile­stones: the 50th anniver­sary of Kuwait’s inde­pen­dence from Great Britain, the 20th anniver­sary of its lib­er­a­tion dur­ing Oper­a­tion Desert Storm and the fifth anniver­sary of its rul­ing monarch’s reign.

“This is three cel­e­bra­tions, all in one,” said Sgt. Bad­er Abdul Aziz, a 14-year vet­er­an of the Kuwaiti army.

Like Khu­bert, Aziz has vivid mem­o­ries of the Iraqi inva­sion. He remem­bers the ter­ror that gripped him as he awak­ened at 5 a.m. to the roar of jets scream­ing over­head and the rum­ble of tanks on the street as ene­my forces fil­tered through the city.

“It made me crazy,” he said, grasp­ing to com­pre­hend all that was hap­pen­ing.

But 20 years lat­er, look­ing back, Aziz said the expe­ri­ence strength­ened him per­son­al­ly and Kuwait as a nation.

Aziz went on to join the Kuwaiti army, where he serves as an M1 tank mechan­ic com­mit­ted to his country’s defense. He also deployed to Iraq in 2003, the open­ing days of Oper­a­tion Iraqi Free­dom, where he worked as part of the coali­tion that ulti­mate­ly brought down Sad­dam Hus­sein.

Both the Unit­ed States and Kuwait have ben­e­fit­ed from the close rela­tion­ship forged 20 years ago dur­ing Oper­a­tion Desert Storm, Khu­bert said.

Khu­bert said he’s gained much pro­fes­sion­al­ly through the two coun­tries’ strong mil­i­tary-to-mil­i­tary rela­tion­ship. He attend­ed Eng­lish lan­guage train­ing at Lack­land Air Force Base in Texas and the field artillery offi­cer basic course at Fort Sill, Okla.

Train­ing close­ly with U.S. forces, Khu­bert said he and his Kuwaiti com­rades have gained tech­no­log­i­cal know-how and advanced bat­tle­field tech­niques.

“We have bond­ed togeth­er,” he said. “And it is mak­ing us stronger every day.”

That capa­bil­i­ty was on full dis­play here today as the Kuwait­is staged a mas­sive demon­stra­tion of mil­i­tary might. Fight­er jets roared over­head, stream­ing green, red and white smoke in their wake. Tanks and artillery pieces rum­bled past the offi­cial review­ing stand, and mil­i­tary mem­bers from every Desert Storm coali­tion nation marched by.

As the troops streamed by the offi­cial review­ing stand, they passed a mes­sage dis­played promi­nent­ly from the oppo­site embank­ment: “His­to­ry does not make heroes. Yet heroes make his­to­ry.”

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twit­ter.

Fol­low GlobalDefence.net on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →