Operation Desert Storm remembered at state military museum
SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs will host the 23rd Desert Storm Remembrance Ceremony to honor and remember those who served and made the ultimate sacrifice during Operation Desert Storm 23 years ago.
The ceremony is set for 11 a.m. Feb. 28 at the Illinois State Military Museum, 1301 North MacArthur Blvd., Springfield.
The event is open to the public.
Fourteen military personnel from Illinois died during the conflict. They are: Stanley W. Bartusiak U.S. Army, Feb. 25, 1991, Calumet City; Charles W. Cooper, U.S. Army, Feb. 21, 1991, St. Charles; Dale Thomas Cormier, U.S. Air Force, Feb. 15, 1991, Crystal Lake; Gary W. Crask, U.S. Army, Jan. 19, 1991, Springfield; William D. Cronin, Jr., U.S. Marine Corps, Oct. 8, 1990, Elmhurst; James P. Heyden, U.S. Army, March 12, 1991, Chicago; Raymond L. Horwath, Jr., U.S. Marine Corps, Nov. 30, 1990, Waukegan; Patrick R. Hurley, U.S. Army, Feb. 21, 1991, New Douglas; William J. Hurley, U.S. Marine Corps, Oct. 8, 1990, Chicago; Kenneth T. Keller, U.S. Marine Corps, Oct. 8, 1990, Glenview; Earnest F. Mitchem, U.S. Army, April 13, 1991, Granite City; Stephen R. Phillis, U.S. Air Force, Feb. 15, 1991, Rock Island; Christian J. Porter, U.S. Marine Corps, Feb. 27, 1991, Wood Dale/Springfield; and Bradley R. Schuldt, U.S. Air Force, Aug. 29, 1990 Arlington Heights.
Desert Storm cost 382 American lives, 147 of those combat deaths. There were 467 wounded in combat, and the overall cost of the war was $61 billion dollars, with some $53 billion paid for by contributing or Coalition nations.
The military services of the United States — to include Active Duty, National Guard and Reserves — joined with Coalition Forces to stop aggression and eject Iraqi forces from Kuwait in early 1991 after a brutal invasion and occupation by forces under Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.
The Coalition air campaign began early on Jan. 17, 1991 and stripped away Iraqi air defense, command and control and logistical capabilities.
The ground offensive operations – commonly termed the “100-Hour War” – began at 4 a.m., Feb 24, overwhelming Iraqi ground forces, capturing thousands, and ejecting the remainder out of Kuwait.
The Coalition Forces, under the command of Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, unilaterally ceased offensive operations against the Iraqis at 8:01 a.m., Feb. 28, 1991.