Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990 initiated a conflict that has yet to be fully resolved. United Nation troops, led by the United States, forced the Iraqis to a withdrawal during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. In a world redefined by the attack on September 11, 2001, the United States led a coalition against terrorism in Afghanistan and then entered Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein. During these years, Iowa Reservists and National Guard units, combined with the regular military, brought their specialized skills to the combat zone.
"I know this hasn't been any Vietnam. I have been here a little over half the time of a tour of duty in Vietnam and I don't even want to think how long tours in World War II lasted. Yet I am here and this is real and it hasn't been a cakewalk. I am not in the rear with the gear. This is an unforgiving desert, sometimes raging hot, sometimes numbingly cold."
— Donald Davis, U.S. Navy Seabees