A quarter of a century ago, the soldiers of the 24th Infantry Division answered the call of their Nation and went to war, first to defend Saudi Arabia and then to liberate Kuwait by defeating the Iraqi Army. There were predictions casualties could be as high as 30% yet they stood side by side determined to accomplish the mission victoriously and bring each other home. In an outstanding performance of professionalism and leadership the “Victory Division” lived up to its namesake and accomplished the mission with lighting speed as the “Point of the Spear” of Desert Storm in 1991.
War is never without cost, sixteen Taro Leaf soldiers paid the ultimate price for freedom during the Persian Gulf War. Many others were wounded and even more came home with unexplained illnesses and the hidden wounds of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is for these men and women that our great Nation owes a debt of gratitude and remembrance. Each made a commitment, each soldier signed the dotted line to serve, protect and defend even to the point of death.
On February 24-28, 2016 Veterans of the mighty 24th Infantry Division will gather at Fort Stewart, GA to commemorate the silver anniversary of Desert Storm. During the five-day reunion, many activities and events are being planned to foster social interaction, remembering and celebrating. Educational sessions on PTSD, Suicide Prevention, Gulf War Illness and a presentation on the National Desert Storm Memorial will also be provided.
The Victory Division will reunite to remember the sacrifices of the Fallen at Memorial Ceremony on Friday, Feb 26 at 11:00 hours at the Gulf War Memorial. Former Division Commander, General Barry McCaffrey will be the keynote speaker. Catherine Alaniz-Simonds, widow of SPC Andy Alaniz KIA 24th ID Desert Storm will also be speaking and the 3rd ID Band will play patriotic songs, Amazing Grace and TAPS. The Memorial Ceremony will be the highlight of the reunion and include honoring our fallen with a Memorial Wreath and dedication of a Memorial Bench. A special reunion fund is available for those who would like to support the Veterans in reuniting and all contributions are sincerely appreciated. For full reunion itinerary and more information on reunion activities and registration see facebook.com/24thIDreunion or DesertStorm24ID.com
Why do soldiers go to war and then yearn to reunite with each other 25 years later? Perhaps it is best summed up in one word, Brotherhood as stated in the 2001 film, and Mark Bowden novel, Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War “When I go home, people ask me, ‘Why do you do it? You some kind of war junkie?’ I won’t say a word. Why? They won’t understand. They won’t understand why we do it. They won’t understand it’s about the men next to you… and that’s it. That’s all it is.”
Contact: Chaplain Darrell Williams 423-312-4752
SOURCE Veterans of the 24th Infantry Division