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National Desert Storm and Desert Shield Memorial closer to completion – John A Cianci

by John A Cianci, Department Veterans Service Officer, Italian American War Veterans (ITAM)

Kuwait Announces financial Support to Complete Desert Storm Memorial in Washington D.C

On Saturday Kuwait announced it will provide additional financial support to complete the construction of the National Desert Shield/Storm Memorial  on D.C.’s National Mall. 

According to the National Desert Storm War Memorialpress release in 2019,the Memorial’s design will commemorate the historical significance of Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm while honoring the service and sacrifice of the United States of America and Coalition military personnel who liberated Kuwait from Iraq and defended Saudi Arabia. 

The memorial is planned for a site near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Its tentative design would be a half-circle representative of the so-called left hook used by American ground forces to cut off Iraqi troops in the Saudi desert during the 1991 conflict that ousted Iraq from Kuwait. 

Picture courtesy of National Desert Storm and Desert Shield Memorial website.

The goal of National Desert Storm and Desert Shield Memorial project is to break ground on the Memorial in 2022, and to dedicate the completed Memorial in 2023. 

Back in 2020, $40 million was needed to construct and complete the Memorial. Almost $20 million of the $40 million had been raised by the National Desert Storm War Memorial Association,  (501(c ), EIN 37-1647413) with a mission to complete the project.

Prior to the most recent announcement, Kuwait had already committed $10 million. Kuwait’s most recent commitment will bring the monument financial resources closer to the requirement needed to complete the project. 

According to the NDSWM press release, Scott Stump, CEO and president of the National Desert Storm War Memorial Association  said the organization is honored and humbled by the show of support. “This lead donation by the Government of Kuwait is an important validation of the historical importance of Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm, and is a display of the deep, special, and lasting friendship between our two countries,” he said.

In 1991, the United States of America sent a powerful message of international unity and cooperation to Saddam Hussein by opposing and ejecting Iraq’s occupying forces and liberating the peaceful nation of Kuwait. The mission undertaken by the United States Armed Forces during Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield was a remarkable example of American leadership, values, and sacrifice in the pursuit of freedom. 

This RINEWSTODAY.com veteran contributor, a Desert Shield Storm Veteran himself, was with approximately 20 Desert Storm Veterans for the first annual Last Radio-Roll Call for fallen comrades who have served as Military Police at the newest monument at the Rhode Island Memorial Veterans Cemetery in Exeter RI. 

The monument recognizes and honors the service of all service members who have served as Military Police or service members who have served in Rhode Island National Guard military police units, which include three Military Police units activated and deployed for Operation Desert Shield/Storm. 

The State of Rhode Island has approximately 1,200 Desert Shield/Storm veterans. Approximately 500 of the 1,200 Desert Storm veterans from Rhode Island are from Rhode Island National Guard Military Police units activated: 119th Military Police Company, 115th Military Police Company, and 118th Military Police Battalion. 

“We are grateful and appreciative for the country of Kuwait’s support and financial commitment honoring the service and sacrifice of the United States of America and Coalition military personnel who liberated Kuwait from Iraq and defended Saudi Arabia,” said William Gearon, Desert Storm veteran. 

“I  received the ‘breaking-news’ text on the announcement of Kuwait’s additional financial commitment for the monument, “ said John A, Cianci, Desert Storm Veterans and RINEWSTODAY.com contributor. ”I announced the news to the approximately dozen or so Desert Storm Veterans who gathered at the MP monument in Exeter RI. “

History of the Desert Shield Storm :

Almost 32 years ago, in August 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait.

The United States led a coalition of 35 nations against Iraq in response to the Iraqi invasion and annexation of Kuwait. 

U.S. President George H.W. Bush immediately condemned the invasion, as did the governments of Britain and the Soviet Union. 

The U.S formed a coalition. Made up of 39 countries; 670,000 troops are supplied by 28 of these countries.

On November 29, 1990, the U.N. Security Council authorized the use of “all necessary means” of force against Iraq if it did not withdraw from Kuwait by the following January 15.

The first phase, Operation Desert Shield (2 August-17 January 1991) was for operations to build up troops and defense of Saudi Arabia. 

When diplomacy failed, the second phase of Persian Gulf War began, Operation Desert Storm commenced on the morning of January 17, 1991.

The war ended on 28 February, when Iraq pulled out of the country and formally accepted cease-fire terms.

According to the US. Government statistics, the US contributed the most in the way of resources, deploying 470,000 personnel.

Estimated 250 Allied casualties included US casualties 219 (212 men and 7 women).

“Kuwait commitment shows our efforts and sacrifices have not been forgotten by them,” said Gearon. “The monument will educate people of the importance of Operation Desert Storm.”

No federal funds are authorized for the Memorial, the entire cost of the monument must come by private donations,” said Cianci.

If you would like to learn more about the memorial go to www.ndswm.org donations in support of the memorial can be mailed to: 

National Desert Storm War Memorial – 1101 Connecticut Avenue NW, #450, Washington, DC 20036

 

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To read all columns in this series go to: https://rinewstoday.com/john-a-cianci/

John A. Cianci is a Veteran Service Officer. Retired, U.S. Army MSgt., Persian Gulf War and Iraq War combat theater.

Cianci, a combat disabled Veteran, served in Desert Shield/Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His awards include Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge, Good Conduct, and others.

Cianci belongs to numerous veterans organizations – Italian American War Veterans, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign War, United Veterans Council of Rhode Island, and many more organizations. He is an active volunteer assisting veterans to navigate federal and state benefits they have earned. He is Department of Rhode Island Department Commander Italian American War Veterans and Veteran Service Officer.

He is a graduate of Roger Williams University (BS Finance), UCONN business school* (Entrepreneur Bootcamp For Veterans), Solar Energy International Residential, Commercial and Battery Based Photovoltaic Systems certificate programs, numerous certificates from the Department of Defense renewable energy programs, including graduate of the Solar Ready Vets Program.