By William H. LaBarge
America’s strength has always been her people. Never has this strength been more evident than in time of war. From the Revolution on, the history of America at war has always been the history of ordinary men and women doing extraordinary things. But in the past, it has taken years, sometimes even decades, for those heroic men and women to be heard, for their individual stories to be told. In the current era, with electronic media making the news instantaneously available around the world, one would think that would no longer be the case. In America’s latest war, the electronic media brought us only the men and women at the top — leaders like General Schwarzkopf, General Kelly, and Pete Williams, the official voice of the Pentagon. But the real stories, the stories of courage under fire, were half a world away — in Khafji and Dhahran, Basra and the barren wastes of the Iraqi desert. The stories were there because America’s men and women were there, with M-16s and artillery, in tanks and in attack aircraft, in the tents and in the trenches. Every service was represented — Army, Navy, Air Force, and U.S. Coast Guard. The career soldiers were there and so were the citizen soldiers of the reserves. These are their stories, told in their own way. These are the Desert Voices.