Friday, February 25, 2011

Local Victims of Scud Attack Remembered

It was 20 years ago today when an Iraqi scud missile hit the barracks of the 14th Quartermaster Detachment in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, killing 13 soldiers and wounding 43 others. The Hempfield-based detachment suffered the largest number of casualties of any allied unit. Most were from the Westmoreland County and Pittsburgh area or had family and friends in southwestern Pennsylvania. The 69 members of the Army Reserve water purification unit had arrived a few days before February 25, in 1991, and were relaxing in the barracks waiting to move forward when the missile hit. Along with the casualties from other units, a total of 15 were killed and 56 wounded.

Today at noon, there will be a memorial ceremony at the Greensburg Army Reserve Center to remember the fallen soldiers. Captain Sarah Weber, who commands what is now the 14th Quartermaster Company, says she remembers hearing about the scud missile attack when she was in junior high school. She says it had an impact on her because of the blow to the local community. She says today's memorial ceremony will honor the fallen soldiers and remember their service to their country during Operation Desert Storm, 20 years ago, when Coalition Forces launched the ground offensive to liberate Kuwait.

The members of the 14th Quartermaster killed during the attack were:
Spc. Steven Atherton of NuMine; Spc. John Bolivar of Monongahela; Spc. Joseph Bongiorni of Hickory; Sgt. John Boxler of Johnstown; Spc. Beverly Clark of Armagh; Sgt. Alan Craver of Penn Hills; Spc. Frank Keough of North Huntingdon; Spc. Anthony Madison of Monessen; Spc. Christine Mayes of Rochester Mills; Spc. Stephen Siko of Unity; Spc. Thomas Stone of Falconer, New York; Sgt. Frank Walls of Hawthorne and Spc. Richard Wolverton of Latrobe.

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