D-Battery Marine Kris Jones reflects on Desert Storm - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

D-Battery Marine Kris Jones reflects on Desert Storm 20 years later

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Kris Jones (Also pictured in background from news story in 1990) Kris Jones (Also pictured in background from news story in 1990)
Larry Bathen, right Larry Bathen, right
Kris Jones, left; Ron Steele, middle; Larry Bathen, right Kris Jones, left; Ron Steele, middle; Larry Bathen, right

WATERLOO (KWWL) -- "I'm glad to experience it. I'm glad that we didn't have any casualties. I'm glad to be able to say I served a purpose bigger than myself. And, we all came back safe, says former Delta Battery Marine gunner, Kris Jones, on his war experience twenty-years ago during Desert Storm.

Recently, Kris Jones and Larry Bathen came to the KWWL building to watch some of the station's Desert Storm coverage. Kris grew up in Waterloo and still resides here. Larry was from Independence back then and now lives in Homestead.

"Just reflecting on it, it's a part of my life I'm glad I got a chance to reconnect with that again. I actually did something that's worthwhile towards this country, and it makes me feel proud that I was a part of this unit and this purpose," Jones said.

Jones and all the D-Battery Marines readied themselves, trained at Camp LeJeune, and then played a critical role in the ground war of Desert Storm. Married now with three children, Jones says he's glad he had the opportunity to serve.

"I like for my kids to see something like this, you know. It's one of those events that is a lifetime changing event that you want to experience with your family & your kids and show that you had a purpose bigger than yourself," he said.

D-battery's calling card was the 155 MM Howitzer. D-Battery fired their Howitzers 365 times during the short ground war. It was suppressive fire on the Iraq Troops, clearing the way for US and Coalition ground forces to quickly take control on the ground. Kris recalls one incident involving his Howitzer—Gun 4.

"There was counter-battery fire. They fired upon us, and they called my gun 4 to return fire and we took that unit out right away, that Iraqi unit out right away. So, it was nice to see all your training work, and serve that purpose," Jones said.

Jones and Bathen say a lot of what they watched is somewhat vague after 20 years, yet, in many ways fresh in their minds and they know their role was critical.  

"I think the job that our unit did was superior. The job that we did was great," Jones said. 

The 134 Marine Reservists left Waterloo in December of 1990. All 134 came back home safely in April of 1991.

There has been much debate about why the U.S. didn't finish off Saddam Hussein the first time.

"There was no debate with me about it. I wanted him, if I'm gonna give my life, or sacrifice my life in this opportunity, I wanted him to be done dealt with. Because, I had a feeling if we left him alive, he was going to be a worldwide threat from then on and he was," Jones said.

Kris Jones and Larry Bathen would like to organize a Delta Battery reunion. For more information, contact Kris at:  319-234-5138 or on his cell at: 319-269-2937. Larry can be reached at 319-662-4273.

Watch Bathen's story on the KWWL News at 10 on Wednesday.

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