The Restored Burlington Northern Depot & WWII Memorial Museum


     Military related issues, on the War and Home Fronts, 1981 thru 2000


        The 168th Infantry Regiment continued their service in Southwest Iowa,
                 as Citizen-Soldiers, maintaining its operational readiness for
                                      State and Federal contingencies.

        The Rosemount, MN - based 34th Red Bull Infantry Division provided 
      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,      
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.


                  Iowa National Guard Armory in Red Oak, Montgomery County, Iowa, USA.
                  Constructed 1899 for Company M, 51st Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

                Romanesque style architecture, with characteristic turrets, brick corbelling,
              stone belt courses, symmetrical, plain (window) circles echoing the half-circle
             shape of the ubiquitous aches; generally, a strong sense of proportion & order.

    From the Vietnam Center and Archive, Texas Tech University:

        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 Thailand. 

      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 gone…”.

By Hai-Dang Phan, 2017
Department Chair of English, Grinnell College

       The Restored Burlington Northern Depot
                 & WWII Memorial Museum