Mike Sullivan was a Marine Corps infantryman in the course of the Vietnam Struggle who later coated the Persian Gulf Struggle as a journalist.
In January 1968, Sullivan enlisted within the Marine Corps, arriving at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California, Jan. 31, 1968.
Shortly after commencement in April 7, 1968, he deployed to South Vietnam as a rifleman, generally known as a grunt. He served with India Firm, third Battalion, 4th Marines in I Corps, an space within the far north central highlands about 10 kilometers south of the demilitarized zone.
In August 1969, he rotated again to the US and was honorably discharged Sept. 2, 1969.
Flash ahead to Aug. 2, 1990, when Iraq invaded Kuwait.
On Aug. 7, 1990, the US and a coalition of 34 nations started a navy buildup in northeast Saudi Arabia, referred to as Operation Desert Protect, with the aim of liberating Kuwait both by diplomacy or pressure.
Because the buildup was going down, CBS Information requested for volunteers to cowl what they thought would doubtless change into a capturing warfare, Sullivan stated.
On the time, Sullivan was primarily based in Johannesburg as a CBS Radio stringer, which suggests he labored on an as-needed foundation and was not a everlasting workers member.
“I talked it over with Larry Doyle, [the] CBS bureau chief in South Africa, who was additionally a Marine Corps Vietnam veteran. He opted to go to Baghdad, however I recall telling him I wished to be on the facet with all of the weapons,” Sullivan stated, referring to the troops who can be liberating Kuwait.
Sullivan arrived in Saudi Arabia in early January 1991 shortly earlier than Desert Protect grew to become Operation Desert Storm, a capturing warfare, on Jan. 17, 1991.
The CBS base of operations, and that of many of the different information media retailers, was at a lodge close to the airport in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
Sullivan remembers being issued a canine tag by the U.S. navy. Canine tags are small, steel identifiers worn by all service members and used to determine them ought to they be killed.
As a reporter, Sullivan stated he opted to be embedded with the Marines—his stint as a Marine gave him a particular affinity. They have been encamped in a big tent metropolis exterior Dhahran.
Sullivan interviewed numerous younger Marines and Navy corpsmen who knew they have been about to enter hurt’s method.
As soon as Marines discovered that I used to be within the Corps in the course of the Vietnam Struggle, they opened up and have been keen to speak.
“One factor that struck me about these younger Marines and Navy corpsmen was their steadfastness and confidence,” he stated. “They wished to learn about Vietnam and questioned in the event that they [would] measure up in fight. I informed them they might, and so they did.”
The bottom warfare started Feb. 24, 1991, and would final about 100 hours. Sullivan and three different journalists — a photographer, a United Press Worldwide wire service reporter and a United Kingdom journalist — rode in a Humvee together with two Marines who have been armed and alternated driving.
They made their method north, crossing a sand berm into Kuwait. The journey, Sullivan stated, was pretty uneventful.
One vivid reminiscence, he recalled, was the smoke from the oil wells that the Iraqis had set on hearth. “There was a continuing hazy murkiness that hung within the air — I referred to as it nuclear daybreak.”
Sullivan stated he additionally had remembered seeing land mines scattered about as a result of the retreating Iraqis did not have time to bury them within the sand. “The Iraqis have been surrendering in droves, and we may see columns of them being marched to the rear,” he stated.
Sullivan stated he and his touring companions aimed to succeed in the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait Metropolis to doc its seize.
As they approached Kuwait Metropolis, Sullivan stated the group may hear gunfire within the distance. “Progressively, the Kuwaitis realized the Iraqis had fled and began popping out and driving round of their vehicles. The Kuwaitis have been checking us out, and once they realized we have been People and one British [citizen], they have been joyous and showered us with sweet and led us to the embassy.”
Outdoors the embassy compound, Sullivan stated they met a Marine Corps reconnaissance group driving in what appeared like dune buggies from the “Mad Max” motion film.
That group had already secured the embassy, however the lieutenant stated that in two days there can be a photograph alternative to indicate the embassy being “liberated,” he stated laughing.
“He was proper. A day or two later, I watched on TV a unit rappel out of helicopters to “safe” the embassy,” Sullivan stated.
Sullivan got here from a household with robust navy ties. His mom, Barbara, grew to become an Military civilian in 1940 earlier than the beginning of World Struggle II. She stayed within the Military for 38 years.
Sullivan’s father, Edwin, made the Military a profession. Edwin Sullivan was wounded 4 occasions within the European theater throughout World Struggle II; he was awarded the Silver Star and Bronze Star medals.
Sullivan stated he grew to become a journalist as a result of he wished to journey the world and loved speaking to individuals. He was additionally a warfare correspondent in Nicaragua, Lebanon and Afghanistan in the course of the Soviet occupation. Apart from CBS Radio, Sullivan was additionally a reporter for the “The Washington Occasions” newspaper and UPI.
Sullivan was born in Walter Reed Military Medical Middle in Washington, D.C., in 1949.
In 1990, he visited Vietnam and positioned locations the place he had served and the place some members of his platoon had been killed or wounded.
Sullivan now lives in Massachusetts.