Linda Maye Adams

Soldier, Storyteller

Air War: Unknown in the Distance


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Most of the time when we saw the desert of Saudi Arabia, it was flat. But when we moved to the King Khalid Wildlife Research Center, there was this big rock sitting on the sand in the distance, set against the blue sky. I always called it a mesa.

Somewhere out there was where the front line was, about seventy miles away. That’s not a long ways. Yet, it was far enough that I couldn’t see anything except that mesa and the flat desert. I’d sit in the back of a cargo container we used as an office and listen to the radio and stare out into the distance. What was going on?

That’s one of the worst things about being a soldier.  The waiting and the not knowing.  We had this Irwin Allen yellow radio, and that was our only connection to what was going on.  When the news announced the war deadline, we approached it with grim trepidation.  There wasn’t anything else that we could do.

The deadline passed, and the air war begin. We were right on the flight path of the sorties going into Kuwait. All we needed to do was stand outside the cargo container and watch the jets fly over us, their engines roaring. Once they passed by and their engines faded into the silence, it was almost as if this wasn’t quite real. Like they didn’t exist.

We never saw them come back. Presumably it was because their flight path took them in a different direction, but it added to the eeriness of not knowing what was going on.

Next up will be “where are the Voices of the women Veterans” so tune in, same military channel, same military time tomorrow.

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