Gulf Company 2/25 was activated for the first time since the Korean War. We were called in on 24Hrs notice to report and drop what ever we were doing in our lives no matter where we were. I can tell you everyone answered the call. Our formation briefing was quick and to the point, we were heading out shortly for Lejeune for our initial Task Force formation. From there Saudi Arabia to form what would eventually be Task Forces Ripper and Pappa Bear, Ground War Infantry Forces for the Invasion of Kuwait to face Saddam Hussein’s 250,000 infantry and armor division stretching long Kuwait and Southern Iraq. The numbers of expected losses were high as this was open terrain combat, no drones, no smart weapons, no infrared equipment, just conventional open terrain warfare against a well-prepared entrenched enemy. Basically, it was a shit sandwich but we all knew what we signed up for and trained for this. But in the end, no one ever can understand what combat is and does to you unless you are there. Fortunately for our service, victory came quick and at minimal losses. Most of us when we get together today, still shake our heads on how lucky we were compared to what Marines went through in WWII, Korea, Vietnam and the most recent Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan the last 20 Years. We always consider ourselves lucky and humbled when we talk to those Veterans, and they describe their service.
When I returned home and was eventually discharged from service, I made a commitment as did all of us who came back that I would always look at every new day as a gift and never take that day for granted, I went on to a successful career retiring from The Fort Lee Police Department as a Detective Captain, Division Commander. To this day, I may have had some traits or qualities of success, but I can tell you, as you all know yourselves, The Marine Corps lit the fire that welded those qualities together and helped me always to keep my act together moving forward and never sideways or to the rear!
Junior Vice Commandant
L/Cpl. Robert J Slattery Detachment, # 206
Marine Corps League