Today, Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN) reintroduced the National Desert Storm and Desert Shield War Memorial Act, which seeks to create a national memorial honoring the service members who honorably served and died in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Roe made the following statement regarding the bill:
"Every day we should commemorate and give thanks to the men and women who have devoted their lives to defending freedom. Every soldier who honorably served our nation should be recognized, and that is why I reintroduced the National Desert Storm and Desert Shield War Memorial Act. The sacrifice of those who served in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm will be remembered through the building of this memorial.
"Our service members who have fought on the front lines to protect this nation deserve our gratitude and utmost respect, and I look forward to working to ensure this memorial is built."
No federal funds will be spent to build this memorial; all funds will be raised privately by the National Desert Storm Memorial Association.
In 1990, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and, in less than 24 hours, dominated nearly 30% of the world's oil supply. This brutal dictator then set his eyes on Saudi Arabia. Recognizing Saudi Arabia's important role in the region, President George H.W. Bush launched Operation Desert Shield, the deployment of American combat forces to Saudi Arabia, and issued a mandate to Hussein stating all Iraqi troops must be out of Kuwait by January 15, 1991. With Kuwait still occupied after the deadline passed, the United States led coalition forces in the liberation of Kuwait, a mission known as Operation Desert Storm.
These operations--a major coalition victory--resulted in the removal of all Iraqi forces from Kuwait, imposition of sanctions against Iraq and a significantly weakened Iraqi Army. Of the roughly 600,000 American troops who were deployed in both Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, 293 died in theater, of which 148 were killed in action.
The United States currently lacks a national memorial dedicated to the valor and sacrifices made by those members of our Armed Forces who honorably fought in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
This is the second Congress that Rep. Roe has introduced this legislation. This Congress, the National Desert Storm and Desert Shield War Memorial Act has over twenty original cosponsors