FORT LEE, VA (WWBT) – This week marks the 20th anniversary of one of the most devastating attacks on U.S. forces during Operation Desert Storm.
A unit that trained at Fort Lee before deploying to Saudi Arabia lost more than half of its members in the attack.
Tuesday morning a wreath laying ceremony took place at Fort Lee in honor of the fallen soldiers.
It was an emotional and heartfelt ceremony as dozens of people gathered to remember members of the 14th Quartermaster Detachment. The unit suffered the greatest number of casualties of any allied unit during Operation Desert Storm.
13 members of the unit were killed, 43 were wounded.
"Only 6 days after they arrived in county parts of an Iraqi scud missile destroyed the barracks where members of the 14th quartermaster detachment were housed," said Colonel Gwen Bingham.
The unit specialized in water purification.
"They help to lead not just Kuwait, but the world, into a new path of peace and freedom," said Colonel Phillip Foster.
Retired LT. Colonel Dr. Paul McMullen was in Saudi Arabia that fateful day. He operated on some of the walking wounded. McMullen recalls a conversation he had with a fellow soldier shortly after the attack.
"She said 'I just couldn't do enough.' I told her, 'you did everything you could, didn't you?' She said 'yes'. I said, 'no one can ask anymore,'" McMullen said.
During the ceremony a wreath was laid.
In all, 29 soldiers died and 99 were wounded back on February 25, 1991 when that Iraqi scud missile hit the barracks that housed American soldiers. Many who attended the ceremony say it's important we remember and pay tribute to all of those who've made the ultimate sacrifice.
The 14th Quartermaster Detachment is stationed in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.