I remember standing on the back bay of Tanajib, Saudi Aradia, some 20 miles south of the Kuwaiti border and vividly recall like it was yesterday how quiet and peaceful the world seemed.  The sun had risen  over the beautiful Arabian Gulf as I sipped hot coffee while standing by my truck and it was as if I was captured in a time warp where I was alone in a peaceful  spectrum while the normal day to day world passed without notice.  The first Gulf War was over for a couple of hours and it felt like I had lost a close friend.   For 7 months the world had focused on my little world.  Every news program on television and radio and every newspaper had stories dedicated to what was going on in the small sliver of property that ran from Dhahran in the south  to the ancient capital of Baghdad in the North.  For over 5 months the world held its’ breath while hundreds of thousands of troops poured into Saudi Arabia and surrounding countries and prepared to go to war.  The wait was agonizingly stressful while the civilians living in Saudi Arabia waited for the shoe to fall.  Then, in a cold January star filled black sky over Dhahran the night was lit by the glow of afterburners from planes blasting into the sky as fast as they could get off the ground for almost 30 minutes.  This lasted for 6 weeks and led to terms such as “bomb damage assessment” becoming a part of the daily conversation at the water cooler as if it had been in use since childhood.  Then after three days of a magnificiently architeched ground war it was all over.  And there I stood, all alone at the back bay of Tanajib following weeks of listening to bombs fall, watching planes turn on their lights as they hit the Saudi border whild returning from another bomb run and fighting the largest oil spill of that time to keep the desalination plants free from oil and thus allowing the troops to take over 32,000 gallons of free water from my company.  It had come to an end just as fast as it had degun on August 2nd, 1990.  Thus after 20 years of waiting I felt it was time to tell the story of the civilians living in Arabia when the troops arrived and remained after they left.  That is why I published “Desert Burning.  The Story of the Civilians During Desert Storm”.  Hard to believe it has been 20 years.


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