Desert Storm: 30 Years Later


December 15, 2020 - August 7, 2021

10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Grout Museum of History & Science
503 South Street
Waterloo, IA 50701

Al Sweeney (email)

Gulf War Veterans recieve free admission to the Grout Museum/Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum for the duration of the exhibit.

"Desert Storm: 30 Years Later" marks the 30th anniversary of the Persian Gulf War. More than 3,000 Iowans were part of a U.S.–led coalition force that expelled Saddam Hussein’s invading Iraqi forces from the sovereign nation of Kuwait. Six Iowans were killed in the war.

This exhibit will include artifacts and first-person oral histories from Iowans who served in the conflict, as well as local news coverage from that time.

The war was one of the first combat actions since the Civil War conducted by an all-volunteer force. Iowans who served were in National Guard and Reserve units, in addition to active-duty personnel from all branches of service. This set a pattern for subsequent conflicts in the region – citizens pulled from their daily lives to participate in deadly conflict halfway across the world.

A Waterloo-based Marine Reserve artillery unit (Delta Battery, 2ndBattalion 14th Marines) was among those mobilized. Made up of 135 Marines, it was the first U.S. field artillery unit to enter Kuwait and fire on enemy targets when the ground phase of the war began. They received a large community send off and were welcomed home in a large celebration at the Waterloo Regional Airport in June 1991. They brought back with them a captured Iraqi howitzer which sits at the AMVETS post in Evansdale.

Many other Iowa National Guard soldiers and airmen served during the conflict. While the conflict was comparatively brief, its veterans live with the effects to this day, including post-traumatic stress and various physical maladies from oil field fires and burn pits,collectively known as “Gulf War syndrome.” The Museum hopes that this exhibit, like the Vietnam exhibit, 365 And Counting, will provide deeper public understanding and acknowledgment of their service, which set precedent for Iowan’s subsequent and ongoing service in that region.

Purchase a yellow ribbon for the Gulf War Veteran in your life to be displayed in the exhibit.



  • Humanities Iowa
  • Peterson Contractors, Inc.
  • American Pattern & CNC Works
  • American Legion of Iowa
  • Sheriff Tony Thompson
  • Sons of American Legion Post 138

Sponsors supported the creation of this exhibit and free admission for Gulf War Veterans.

    MEDIA SPONSOR: Townsquare Media


    • Kris Jones
    • Ed McFarland
    • Jeffrey Schmidt
    • Michael Young