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Thirty years ago, I was standing on Main Street in front of Choctaw Drugs Store (now Main Street Realty) watching as the 155th Armored Brigade made their way up Main Street. My mind’s eye still sees that group of young guys “marching off to war.” I never believed I would see in Magee, MS people I actually knew going to war. Desert Storm, a military operation to buildup troops and defense of Saudi Arabia, was touching our home town.
“On January 16, 1991, President George H. W. Bush announced the start of what would be called Operation Desert Storm—a military operation to expel occupying Iraqi forces from Kuwait, which Iraq had invaded and annexed months earlier.”
More than 500,000 American troops deployed to Saudi Arabia as part of Operation Desert Shield, in case Iraqi troops attacked Saudi Arabia.
I spoke with Scott Wallace this week as the 30th Anniversary of Desert Storm approaches. The Magee Medical section 155th Detachment 2 gathered at the Wallace home Saturday, August 15, 2020. The Medical Group was composed of 7 guys. The entire unit had about 150 soldiers.
“We were unsure of what was to come. We felt that we may never see Magee again once we left. It’s weird how history repeats itself. Times were confusing and uncertain then as they are now…30 years later” stated Wallace.
Scott expressed special appreciation for SSGT Doris McDonald who acted as a father to these 19-21 year old kids who at that time thought they had the world by the tail. Soon, the group saw how serious life could be…and that life is a wonderful thing attached by a very thin string. SSGT McDonald passed away several years ago…but these young men never forgot a man who made a difference in their lives.
SGT Willie Frank McCullom is another leader Scott mentioned. SGT McCullom now lives in Arizona.
These guys made a pledge to get together again. “We all said we would make this a yearly get together for us. I hope we continue to do so. It was great to visit and find out what kind of cards we were dealt in this game called life,” stated Scott.
“The bonds that are made from these experiences are unmistakable and carry a different connection. It’s kind of unexplainable. You just have to experience it,” Scott said.
Magee Medical activated in November of 1990 and left for Ft. Hood Texas the day after Christmas. The group joined a regular Army unit from Ft. Carson, CO. The group went together to Ft. Irwin, CA. The unit returned to Camp Shelby around Easter of 1991.
Pictured are Boo Broom, Dwayne Rutland, Orlando Rankin, Scott Wallace, and Chris Roberts.
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