On August 2, 1990, Kuwait was invaded by its neighboring Arab state of Iraq. The 1st Marine Division Band was the first military band to be ordered to the Persian Gulf, and the only band to go into Kuwait, departing on September 2, 1990. We arrived in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia the next day, with our instruments following by sea. Almost immediately, we began the task of providing perimeter security for the Division and its Commanding General, Brigadier General James “Mike” Myatt. Our daily mission included perimeter security, foot patrols, mounted patrols, and guard duty for the mobile headquarters which, during the 100-hour blitz through Iraq and Kuwait, was constantly on the move near the front. During the attack on Iraq-occupied Kuwait, Band members cleared paths through bunker systems and mine fields, helping secure the battleground for United States forces. We also helped clear buildings at Kuwait International Airport. Some musical support was provided as well; we performed during the Marine Corps Birthday and holiday seasons for all Marines deployed in Saudi Arabia, along with daily bugle calls.

Following the seven-month deployment ended on March 14, 1991, the Band was ordered to return home. After only twenty-four hours of rest, the Band performed for every unit that came home, no matter the time of day (or night). This resulted in four to nine commitments a day, before the Bandsmen were finally given two weeks of hard-earned leave at the beginning of May.

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Suicide Prevention Resources

https://www.veteranscrisisline.net/get-help/hotline

800-273-8255, press 1

https://www.usmc-mccs.org/services/support/dstress-line/

877-476-7734

Eagle Eyes is the official Marine Corps community awareness SAR program. The program allows anyone to report suspicious activity through the Eagle Eyes website, www.usmceagleeyes.org or dial 911 to report emergencies.

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