Members of the 14th Quartermaster Detachment, a Reserve Component water purification unit out of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, received their call-up orders for duty in the Gulf War in mid-January 1991 – just one day prior to the initiation of air strikes against Baghdad.
They spent nearly 30 days at Fort Lee, learning to use the newest and most advanced water purification equipment, before arriving in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia on February 19th. The next six days were spent on continued training, in preparation for movement to the field.
On February 25th while most of the unit was resting in a warehouse that served as their temporary barracks, at about 8:30 in the evening, an Iraqi Scud tore through Patriot missile defenses striking the warehouse killing 13 members of the Detachment. Fifteen other American soldiers were killed and 97 wounded – including 43 members of the 14th, making it the most heavily blooded unit in the Gulf War. Surviving members of the 14th Detachment returned home later that spring to a hero’s welcome.
On their monument is written: "They answered the call of duty … They paid the ultimate price for freedom." As Winston Churchill once noted, the Army Reservist is indeed "twice the citizen."
For more information on this topic go to: 14th Quartermaster Detachment
Compiled by Dr. Steven Anders, former Quartermaster School historian
"Duty is the sublimest word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less."
- General Robert E. Lee