Two days after Christmas, America lost one of its truly-great military commanders. Four-star General (retired), Norman Schwarzkopf, succumbed to complications from pneumonia, termed by his legion of admirers, "the only battle he ever lost." A graduate of West Point, he served two tours in Vietnam, earning three Silver Stars and many other honors. Remembering, as do so many Americans, how ill-treated our returning Vietnam-veterans were, at the very hands of those whom our troops were sent to serve and die for, General Schwarzkopf committed himself, thereafter, to restoring morale and building-back a new, stronger, all-volunteer Army.
Following a tour as head of Central Command in Tampa, the General is, perhaps, best remembered for his role as commander of the 30-nation coalition force, tasked with driving the invading Iraqis out of Kuwait, in Operation Desert Storm. After weeks of aerial attack, the combined ground forces then took about 3-days to drive the Iraqis, not only out of Kuwait, but most of the way back to Baghdad. The call to end the mission there, was not his, but that of our political leaders. Little known or remembered is that it was General Schwarzkopf who, well-before the battle began, handled the delicate-negotiations allowing multi-nation troops to advance-stage in Saudi Arabia, a critical component in the allied victory. History will, and Americans should, remember General Norman Schwarzkopf as a great military warrior and leader, and, importantly, as a soldier's general, a man who carried deeply about all those who served our nation.