War Stories

Here are some of the stories I wrote from Saudi Arabia and Iraq during the Persian Gulf War.

Much Red Tape to Get Gask Mask In Saudi Arabia
January 11, 1991
DHAHRAN, Saudi Arabia  — The weather’s nice, and the people are friendly, but finding a gask mask here is such a bother. The link: jan1191

Life Almost Routine as War Clouds Gather
January 12, 1991
DHAHRAN, Saudi Arabia — A steady stream of military transport planes heads north. A caravan of trucks loaded with furniture and other family belongings travels the highway south. The link: Jan1291

Texas Proud, Soldiers, Flag Stand Out in Gulf
January 13, 1991
EASTERN SAUDI ARABIA — About midway down the line of parked tanks, a small Texas flag sticks out just behind a turret. The link: Jan1391

Heavy Drizzle Dampens Efforts as Jan. 15 Gets a Day Closer
January 14, 1991
DHAHRAN, Saudi Arabia — It rained in the desert, Jan. 15 got a day closer and preparation for war continued, but in a strangely muted fashion. The link: jan1491

Saudis Completing War Preparations
January 15, 1991
DHAHRAN, Saudi Arabia — This nation, and the hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops in and near it, made final preparations for war in just about every way imaginable. The link: jan1591

In Saudi Arabia, an Uneasy Calm amid Winds of War
January 16, 1991
EASTERN SAUDI ARABIA — During the last day before the U.N.-imposed deadline for Iraq to quit Kuwait, dozens of American servicemen and women arrived at and left an air terminal run by the Military Airlift Command. The link: jan1691

Your Life is No Longer Your Own — Welcome to … the War Zone
January 18, 1991
EASTERN SAUDI ARABIA — Being in a war zone, even if your side appears to be winning, is an oppressive, helpless feeling. The link: jan1891

Gulf Skies Become Fields of Fire for Missile Hunters
January 19, 1991
EASTERN SAUDI ARABIA — The air war against Iraq turned into a missile hunt Friday after Iraq fired Scud missiles at Israel and Saudi Arabia. The link: jan1991

Attack on Israel a “Sadistic” Act, U.S. soldiers say
January 20, 1991
EASTERN SAUDI ARABIA — Following the second Iraqi missile attack on Israel, the conversation among American soldiers here was dominated by questions about how Israeli retaliation would impact the war effort. The link: jan2091

U.S. Patriots Destroy 9 Scuds in Saudi Arabia
January 21, 1991
EASTERN SAUDI ARABIA — Iraq fired at least 10 Scud missiles into Saudi Arabia late Sunday and early today, but Patriot rockets destroyed none of them … The link: jan2191

Iraqi Awaits Day When We’re All Brothers, Friends
January 23, 1991
DHAHRAN, Saudi Arabia — A management employee of a construction company here is very worried… The link: jan2391

And So They Wait amid Fear and Frivolity
January 25, 1991
EASTERN SAUDI ARABIA — The night is the bad time for civilians and soldiers alike during these days of waiting. The link: jan2591

Rumor Damage Control — Never-ending Job for Officials
January 31, 1991
EASTERN SAUDI ARABIA –While the first extended ground combat of the Persian Gulf war raged Wednesday, the rumors of war raged, too. The link: jan3191

Persian Gulf War a Study in Contrasts, Contradictions
February 2, 1991
NORTHEAST SAUDI ARABIA — In many ways, this is a war of odd contrasts, of the modern and the primitive, of safety and death, of have and have-not. The link: feb291

On Death Road, Iraqis Least of Worries
February 3, 1991
NORTHERN SAUDI ARABIA — As the air war and sporadic ground clashes proceed, seemingly endless convoys of allied military vehicles continue to move north and then spread west along the border… The link: The full story

Kuwaitis Quietly Plan for Return to Devastated Homeland
February 7, 1991
DHAHRAN, Saudi Arabia — While coalition military commanders deal with what is, others here are preparing for what they hope will be. The link: feb791

Army Engineers Anxious, Ready for Ground War
February 8, 1991
EASTERN SAUDI ARABIA — Army Specialist Lee Sweningson of Houston is thinking more about his wife, Aloma, and his 10-month-old son, Eric, these days. The link: feb891

Some U.S. Units’ War Objective: Protect Civilians Caught in Middle
February 19, 1991
NORTHERN SAUDI ARABIA — While U.S. combat commanders plan the intricacies of a ground war, other military officials are wrestling with equally complex issues, some having life-and-death implications. The link: feb1991

Real Live Journalism

The dispatches filed by “pool” reporters in the Persian Gulf War were collected by Laurence Jolidon, then a USA Today war correspondent who subsequently picked out those he liked most for publication in Turn Back Before Baghdad.  One of my reports (unedited, and complete with typos) was included. The link: baghdad


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