Robert A. Johnson

The Gulf War began in 1990 in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, becoming a concern because they are a major oil supplier to the United States. The invasion also posed a threat of taking over the neighboring nation of Saudi Arabia, another major exporter of oil. The protection of Saudi Arabia became known as Operation Desert Shield, later known as Operation Desert Storm. Bush then led military action and peacekeeping efforts in Serbia and Bosnia. Saddam Hussein, leader of the Iraqi military, went to war in order to expand Iraq’s boundaries. Bush called for Hussein’s withdrawal from Kuwait and imposed an embargo and trade sanctions on the country. Bush then successfully persuaded the United Nations to authorize the use of force against Hussein and his army if he did not withdraw from Kuwait. The United States Congress voted for involvement in the East, and the war was quickly won by the coalition forces led by the U.S. military. Iraqi forces withdrew from Kuwait and to avoid a protracted war and retain Russian and France support for the UN coalition, Bush did not try to occupy Iraq or remove Hussein from power.

One of the 697,000 Americans troops sent overseas, Lieutenant Robert Allen Johnson. Johnson went overseas to serve his country willingly along with about 30 fellow platoon members to Kuwait. They participated in the Desert Storm mission, spending long days and nights for the liberation of Kuwait. The troops, equipped in 50-60 pounds of equipment, fought in extreme desert weather during the day and chilled nights. For Johnson's service he received a basic military parachuter badge, several commendation army medals, army achievement medals, Kuwait campaign medal and many more. Johnson currently resides on Wadsworth Road.

Images

Johnson with fellow platoon members

Johnson with fellow platoon members

Johnson and fellow platoon members pose for a photo on a side road in Kuwait. Dressed in lighter camouflage the soldiers were hidden from sight while fighting in the sand of the desert. Although the clothes were heavy, it is needed in this condition as it is night and the temperature dropped at dusk. In the all grey suit is the leader of the platoon, and he tells all of the soldiers what to do. Although they all wear smiles on their faces, the area is still a dangerous war zone. Image courtesy of the Johnson Family Archives. View File Details Page

Johnson and fellow platoon members

Johnson and fellow platoon members

Johnson stands with two fellow platoon members and a senator. They pose in front of a couple of wrecked cars on the side of a road, most likely remnants from an Iraqi soldier fight and an IED, or improvised explosive device. The attire is very different than the night time, wearing lighter clothes like tank tops to keep cool in the arid desert temperatures. One of Johnson's main missions was to supply ordnance, or artillery rounds and mortars, to the infantry to fight against the enemy. Image courtesy of the Johnson Family Archives. View File Details Page

Robert driving during a mission

Robert driving during a mission

Robert is seen driving a military vehicle delivering supplies to the infantry to help fight the enemy. These supplies could include more artillery, ammo, and mortar for protection. Although this may seem like a small task it is not. Robert and his squadron risk being killed transporting this important equipment in the war efforts. They drive through many miles of empty desert to deliver their supplies to the infantry and continue to do this throughout the war. The trucks could also be used to carry the injured and other important supplies. Image courtesy of the Johnson Family Archives. View File Details Page

Base camp

Base camp

In the base camp soldiers would rest, communicate with other bases, and spend their free time in here. Soldiers would also eat meals and talk to other members of the squadron in these tents. Things such as the computer screen were covered with plastic to prevent the desert sand from ruining them. Soldiers would also stay in these tents to stay away from the intense heat of the Kuwait sun. These tents were key in the war as they provided many uses for the soldiers. Image courtesy of the Johnson Family Archives. View File Details Page

Kuwait desert

Kuwait desert

Hidden in the dust and wind is Johnson's base camp. The soldiers lived in large tents that were usually made of canvas. The tents protected soldier from the harsh sun, extreme temperatures, and blowing sand. Soldiers still had to worry about desert wildlife such as scorpions and poisonous spiders. The bases usually had several tents, some used as command centers and others used for sleeping. The American flag was flown over one tent in the cluster to show that the base was an American run one. Image courtesy of the Johnson Family Archives. View File Details Page

Audio

Johnson's primary mission

Robert Johnson talks about what he is assigned to do when he fought in the Gulf War and Afghanistan, another war he fought in. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Lexi Baumann, “Robert A. Johnson,” Discover Medina, accessed July 22, 2017, http://discovermedina.org/items/show/262.

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