Mike's Gulf War Diary


Michael B. Sturm

December, 1998 - based on a letter written April 2, 1991



This story is much larger than the Gulf War, at least for me. I have two reasons for airing it in public here on the web. Firstly, I hope it will add to the general historical base of the Gulf War, given the fact that it is presented from the viewpoint of a civilian deployee. Rarely do you ever get the story of non-military participants in wartime, despite the fact that civilians are the backbone of Military Logistics. Whatever a soldier wears, eats, drives or shoots has likely been acquired and transported to the battle theater through the efforts of Department of Defense civilian employees, and their contractor counterparts. I'm proud to be one of them and I hope this bit of history serves both to enlighten and to alter the common misperception of Civil Service employees.

Perhaps more important for me, is in writing this account I am coming to grips with an experience that didn't end in 1991 with my return home. You see, I've never really returned home. Within a year and a half of my return, I lost my two best friends and with them, the world I knew before the invasion of Kuwait. My mother passed away in June of 1991, and this shock was followed in November of 1992 by the passing of the dear woman I shared with for nearly thirteen years. Then my pre-war world disappeared completely when the budget cutbacks deprived me of the job I loved so much with the Military Traffic Management Command in Bayonne, NJ.

Time though, has it's way of mitigating all circumstances. I have a new job with a wonderful group of people in Picatinny Arsenal in Northern NJ, and Rachel, my new best friend and soon to be my wife, has shown me the path to a new, happy and fufilling life. But there is still an angry fire within me that needs to be drowned. There are still wounds that need healing - so now I've got to go back to the Gulf.


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The photo above was taken minutes before boarding our flight to Saudi Arabia in March of 1991. I'm in the middle row, center, Steve Stoner is just above me, top row center.