The Restored Burlington Northern Depot & WWII Memorial Museum
Military related issues, on the War and Home Fronts, 1981 thru 2000
168th Infantry Regiment continued their service in Southwest
as Citizen-Soldiers, maintaining its operational readiness for
State and Federal contingencies.
The Rosemount, MN - based 34th Red Bull Infantry
command and control for 23,000 Citizen-Soldiers in eight different states.
Known as the Red Bulls, the 34th Infantry Division is capable of deploying
its Main Command Post, Tactical Command Post, and Division Headquarters
and Headquarters Battalion to provide command and control for Army brigades.
That includes the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team,
34th Red Bull Infantry Division, Iowa National Guard, Headquarters – Boone
On 02 AUG 1990, Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait on the orders of President Saddam Hussein,
resulting in a United Nations authorizing a coalition of 30 nations to restore Kuwaiti
independence. Iowa National Guard combat service support units, including the
1168th Transportation Company from Red Oak were mobilized and dispatched to
Kuwait. By 27 FEB 1991, the 100 - hour land war was over, with Kuwaiti forces
recapturing Kuwait City from Iraq’s elite Republican Guards.
“Between 1985-1987, he writes sincerely, gratefully
to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees,
the International Red Cross Central Tracing Agency,
Thai National Police, U.S. Department of State, and more,
to no real end, though each letter surpasses the last.
First he writes them in long hand, in Vietnamese,
then I think someone helps revise, translate, and type:
Don’t say the boat was stopped or encircled,
say the boat was surrounded by the Thai pirates;
it’s true they took away with them eight girls
in our boat,
but abducted captures the situation better; say…—
‘The Reading Room will be closing in 15 minutes.’
I sit and stare at the rust print left by a paperclip
coiling into the dead end of a labyrinth.
I’m reading the letters of Mr. Nguyen Van The
concerning the disappearance of his granddaughter,
Dinh Thuy Trang, when she escaped by boat…
In the blue of his sentences a boat leaves Vietnam,
on October 24, 1985, ventures into the South China Sea,
and drifts dangerously along the coast of
I can just make out the boat, a small open ‘v’,
drawing its wake pattern, on the sea, in the letters.
Around 9 A.M. of 26 October, the boat was surrounded
by 5 fishing boats belonging to the Thai fishermen.
I recoil at the actions his apt verbs dramatize—
invaded, searched, ransacked, pried, looked, seized:
I see teeth flashing inside mouths like knives.
No trace of Thuy. She’s
By Hai-Dang Phan, 2017
Department Chair of English, Grinnell College
The Restored Burlington Northern Depot
& WWII Memorial Museum