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General H. Norman Schwarzkopf

U.S. Army Commanding General

Operation Desert Storm 1991

By Terry D. Janes


General H. Norman Schwarzkopf


It's 1991, and General "Stormin' Norman" Schwarzkopf just led the allied forces in Operation Desert Shield against Saddam Hussein's Iraqi Army in an effort to force Iraq's military out of neighboring Kuwait.  Allied forces were victorious, and General Schwarzkopf was the man who led them.  General Schwarzkopf reminded me a lot of General Patton in many ways.  I wrote to the general and praised his performance and service to our nation.  I invited General Schwarzkopf to attend the Red Devils Reunion that year, explaining that these old tankers of General Patton's would be especially thrilled to meet him.  Shortly after writing to the general, I heard on the news that he was retiring.  Just before he retired, the general took the time to send me an autographed photo (above), but neither the Red Devils Secretary nor I heard a word from him regarding the Red Devils Reunion.  I wasn't too surprised, as I figured that he was simply far too busy.  It was enough that he was so kind as to send me the photo.  I framed the photo, and hung it on my office wall where it remains to this day.


Now, move forward in time to 2007, sixteen years after I wrote to the general.  Out of the blue, I got an email from a very good-hearted lady named Marie, who purchased a house in Michigan.  The owner of the house, now deceased, had left behind a framed letter from General Norman Schwarzkopf addressed to the Red Devils.  The deceased man was not a member of the Red Devils, and even after much checking, we cannot determine: a. How this deceased man got his hands on a letter addressed to the Red Devils, or b. Why the letter never reached it's intended destination in 1991.  It is possible that this man was a relative of a Red Devil, but even if so, I can't imagine a member of the Red Devils knowingly withholding such an important letter from their fellow members, so how it came to be in Michigan is a baffling mystery.


Marie, was good-hearted enough to correctly recognize that something like this would probably be important to someone, and she contacted me through the website about how to get the letter to it's proper place.  It was ironic to me, that since I was who first began this odyssey by writing to General Schwarzkopf, that the letter should finally find it's way to me first.  I have since made arrangements with Pete Porreca, President of the Red Devils Association, for me to forward General Schwarzkopf's letter to him, and at this year's Red Devil Reunion, Pete will finally present it to the members of the association 16 years after it's original intended delivery!  It is both fitting and sad that it should be now when the Red Devil's get this letter.  You see, this year may very well be the final reunion for the Red Devils.  Time has taken its toll in old warriors, and there are so few left now that it is doubtful there will be another reunion next year.  It is fitting that these brave old warriors should finally get this justly deserved recognition from a general of the caliber of General Norman Schwarzkopf.  I am proud for them, and of them.  As I told Marie, God seems to love his Red Devils, and it would appear that he helped this message arrive at the last opportunity for his Red Devils to assemble here on earth.


I want to thank Marie for her kindness, and whether she knows it or not, she is an angel.  To you, my readers, I proudly present the following:




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