Persian Gulf War Veterans – Part 2

Stars And StripesIn the aftermath of the first Persian Gulf War, Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein remained in power.  There were many critics who opined that the U.S. forces should’ve taken the battle into Baghdad and relinquished power from Saddam Hussein.  These critics referenced the fact that the ground offensive was overwhelmingly successful, crippling the Iraqi forces to the point that they were vulnerable to total defeat.  Hussein was also feared as a rogue dictator, who if left in power, would be capable of causing immeasurable damage on the world stage if allowed to pursue weapons of mass destruction.

In the years following their victory in the Gulf War, the United States maintained its role as a global super power.  This confidence was shaken to the core when the terrorist attacks of September 11th occurred in New York City and Washington, D.C in 2001.   America had not witnessed a tragedy of such magnitude on its own soil since the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor 70 years prior.  These brazen attacks forced Americans to see the world through a completely different lens.  Soon, terms like ‘terrorism’ and ‘weapons of mass destruction’ were spoken on the evening news with a frightening regularity.  A new but familiar threat emerged soon after with the country of Iraq.   The U.S. along with its close ally the U.K. became increasingly concerned that Saddam Hussein and his Iraqi forces had obtained weapons of mass destruction.   They also believed that they were harboring terrorists, and providing financial assistance to Al Qaeda and Palestinian suicide bombers.

With these fears in mind, they pressured Iraq to allow weapons inspectors from the United Nations check their military facilities to ensure that restricted weapons were not being harbored there.  After Iraq would not comply with the repeated requests, President George W Bush issued a statement warning Saddam Hussein to leave the country within 48 hours, or there would be military intervention. On March 20th, 2003 the U.S. bombed a bunker where they believed Hussein to be holed up in.  After several more airstrikes, the U.S. and coalition forces invaded Iraq from their ally Kuwait.  After an offensive from the air and ground which lasted less than 3 weeks, U.S. forces took control of the capital, Baghdad City.  What followed was an occupation of Iraq by coalition forces which lasted for a grueling 8 years.  The coalition forces did make headway and have successes during the war, with the main victory coming with the capture of Saddam Hussein in late 2003.  Hussein stood trial, was found guilty of crimes against humanity, and was subsequently executed at the end of 2006.  The U.S. suffered 3,000+ casualties over the course of the war, mostly at the hands of Iraqi guerrilla warfare and deadly roadside bombs coined ‘I.E.D.s’.   The U.S. declared an end to its campaign in Iraq on December 15th, 2011 without a clear victory to show for it.

The second Iraq War was not a popular one domestically and internationally.  When our veterans returned home, they did not receive the honor and praise they had rightfully earned on the battlefield.  Here To Help Home Care wants our veterans to know that we can be there for them through the often difficult transition from the battlefield to the real world.  We have the support that our veterans and their families need to allow them to lead a life where they will thrive in their mental and physical health.

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