National Memorial Would Honor Those Who Fought in Operations Desert Storm and Shield
Dec 12 2014
Washington, D.C. –The Senate today passed legislation that would authorize the construction of a National Desert Storm and Desert Shield Memorial, originally introduced by U.S. Senators Joe Donnelly (D-IN) and John Boozman (R-AR). The memorial would honor American servicemembers who fought during Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield. The legislation, as part of the national defense bill, passed the House last week and now goes to the President to be signed into law.
Donnelly said, “For the thousands of Hoosiers and for all Americans who served in Operations Desert Storm and Desert Shield, this memorial will honor their courageous service and sacrifice. I am pleased that after working with my friend Senator Boozman, our bipartisan legislation to create a national memorial is now headed to the President to be signed into law. I look forward to the day when our Desert Storm and Desert Shield veterans can visit their memorial.”
Boozman said, “The men and women who served in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Shield deserve this honor and recognition in our nation’s capital. I’m proud to work with Senator Donnelly in support of this memorial that shows our nation’s appreciation for all Americans who fought to defend freedom in the Gulf War. It’s been far too long for this tribute but soon we’ll be able to pay our respects at a national memorial.”
Scott C. Stump, President of the National Desert Storm War Memorial Association, said, "The passage of the National Desert Storm and Desert Shield War Memorial Act leaves us honored, humbled, and thankful to Senators Boozman and Donnelly for their hard work and bipartisan efforts throughout this entire process. We look forward to creating a place of honor and remembrance for all who served. Most importantly, this memorial is dedicated to our fellow Desert Shield and Desert Storm veterans who gave their lives on behalf of every American."
A native of Clay Township in St. Joseph County, Indiana, Stump attended Indiana State University and served as a Lance Corporal in the Marine Corps during Operations Desert Storm and Shield. In 2011 Stump had an idea to honor those he served with overseas. He joined with two of his fellow servicemembers to co-found an organization in Arkansas which became the National Desert Storm War Memorial Association. Over the past few years, Stump and the organization have advocated for an Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield memorial and raised money for its construction.
During the 1990–1992 Gulf War, more than 700,000 American servicemembers were deployed and nearly 400 lost their lives. These servicemembers fought with the support of more than 30 other coalition countries to liberate the citizens of Kuwait from more than seven months of invasion and occupation by Iraqi forces. This legislation will allow the National Desert Storm Memorial Association to create a commemorative work in Washington D.C. to honor those who served.
The bill has received wide-ranging support after Senators Donnelly and Boozman introduced the Senate version of the legislation (S. 995) on May 21, 2013. Servicemembers, veterans, members of the international allied coalition, as well as veterans’ organizations including AMVETS and the American Legion have endorsed the creation of the memorial. As with all memorials on federal property, Congress must authorize the land within Washington D.C. for the site. No federal funds would be used for the construction of the memorial. Private funds would be raised by the National Desert Storm War Memorial Association.