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Tracings in the Sand


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Hugh Smith

Date Posted:
Email Address:MRHUGH9631@AOL.COM
Personal Website:Not Disclosed

I was a Motor Transport Operator for the U.S. Army from 21Jan91 to 21May91. My unit was located in several different locations. We first stayed at Khobar Towers, but soon after moved to the Port of Dammam where we lived on barges for a short time. Our final HOME was a small complex just outside of the Port of Dammam, but we also spent many nights in the forward areas as we would make long runs during the day. Our primary mission was to haul ammunition to the forward units (2000lb bombs to the British,mortar,tank and small arms munitions to U.S. forces) but we also hauled P.O.W.'s and relief supplies to Kuwait after the war. Being in Transportation and basically living in the "rear" we supposedly shouldn't have come into contact with anything harmful, right? Wrong! I was on guard duty the night U.S. barracks were hit by scud missile. It went right over our heads as we were stationed less than 1 mile from the impact.

Hauling P.O.W.'s was no joy either. They were far from hygenic and who knows what kinds of diseases/parasites they carried. We also got to drive through the carnage at "The Highway to Hell, or The Road to Basra" on a mission we had the next day. The sight was unbelievable! Bodies, vehicles and every type of munition imagineable as far as the eye could see. We got out to look around and my first thought was that I could actually smell death. That is the one thing I'll never forget, I can't escape the smell of death and it still haunts me to date. Nobody is really sure if there were chemical munitions there, but I;ve been searching my pictures to see if I find anything.

During the push into Iraq during the ground war, we followed through Kuwait to give support and to deliver relief supplies to the Kuwaitis. I remember the smoke from the oil well fires being so thick that at high noon we had to drive with our headlights and windshield wipers on (it was as if someone was pouring oil directly onto our windshields and you could feel the pressure on your lungs when you breathed.

Since I've been back I've suffered the usual symptoms; Strawberry rashes, headaches(more severe and frequent than usual)muscle/joint aches, memory loss, loss of weight, fatigue, serious mood swings and irritability, and serious dental problems. In addition to these I have also had 2 different women become pregnant with me (2 1/2 years apart) Both were complicated pregnancies that ended in miscarriage (one after 3 months and the other after only 2 months) My current wife also complains of "heavy and painful" menstrual cycles since being married to me. However, her to sons whom I've known as long, show no signs of GWS.

HUGH SMITH DESERT STORM VET


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