Lawmakers are rekindling efforts to honor veterans of the Gulf War as World War II, Korean and Vietnam war veterans are honored in the nation’s capital.
The National Desert Storm and Desert Shield War Memorial Act, introduced by Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) last summer, fizzled in committee before the end of the 112th Congress. This time around, the bill has a Senate version to give it some extra lift.
Sens. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and John Boozman (R-Ark.) joined together to introduce legislation today that would authorize a National Desert Storm and Desert Shield Memorial.
“We owe all men and women who serve our nation a debt of gratitude, and those who serve in war should have their exceptional efforts recognized,” Donnelly said. “The men and women who fought in the first Gulf War, especially those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, deserve to have their service memorialized.”
“There is no national memorial dedicated to the valor and sacrifices made by those members of our Armed Forces who honorably fought, and in some cases made the ultimate sacrifice, in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. We need to change that,” Boozman said. “This bill will clear the way for a memorial that will show a grateful nation’s respect and appreciation for those who fought to defend freedom in the Gulf War.”
The legislation would allow the memorial to be built on federal land in D.C., but no federal funds would be spent on construction. The memorial would be built with funds would be raised privately by the National Desert Storm War Memorial Association.
Roe reintroduced the House version on Feb. 5. “Every day we should commemorate and give thanks to the men and women who have devoted their lives to defending freedom. Every soldier who honorably served our nation should be recognized, and that is why I reintroduced the National Desert Storm and Desert Shield War Memorial Act,” Roe said.
Of the roughly 600,000 American troops who were deployed in both Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, 293 died in theater with 148 killed in action.
Gen. “Stormin’” Norman Schwarzkopf passed away in December at age 78.