D-Battery Marine Reflects on Desert Storm 20-Years Later - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

D-Battery Marine Reflects on Desert Storm 20-Years Later

Kris Jones, left; Ron Steele, middle; Larry Bathen, right Kris Jones, left; Ron Steele, middle; Larry Bathen, right
Larry Bathen watching Gulf War video Larry Bathen watching Gulf War video
Larry Bathen Larry Bathen

WATERLOO (KWWL) -- In April of 1991, thousands of well-wishers turned out at the Waterloo Airport for a rousing and emotional welcome-home celebration for the Marines of then-Waterloo-based Delta Battery.

Among the returning heroes were Kris Jones of Waterloo and Larry Bathen, of Independence at the time, whom I invited to KWWL recently to watch some of our Desert Storm video. Tuesday night, Kris Jones reflected on his Desert Storm experience. (Watch the video attached to this story on kwwl.com) 

Larry Bathen, whom now lives in Homestead, says his military past has played a major role in his life.   

Says Larry, "For me, The Marine Corps was the best thing that ever happened to me, because it gave me the drive that whenever I commit to something and whenever I start something, I'm going to finish it. It gives you that don't quit attitude. Gave me something to be proud of and look up to."

Larry grew up in Independence, and was a hometown hero after Desert Storm His local paper, the Independence Bulletin-Journal, did several articles on Larry and the D-Battery Marines.

"It was good for me. It brought my kids and myself closer, because they were proud of me. You know, we kind of were celebrity status there for a while. It lasted about a year. Then it all went away. But, it was a good time."

Larry had joined the Marine Corps in 1985, and headed off to boot camp when he was 21.  Six-years later, Larry was in Desert Storm with Delta Battery. Today his 25-year old son, Jordan, is a Marine Corps Lt. fighting in Afghanistan. That worries Larry.

"Especially when they were going to deploy and stuff. Like any Dad, you think, I wish I was in good enough shape that I could take his place, instead of letting him experience some of the negative things that I did; try to protect him from that."

For Larry and Kris, that rekindles debate that Desert Storm was not completely finished in 1991

Larry says, "We had the momentum. We had them on the run. We might as well kept chasing them, because that was mostly what we were doing at that time. They were running & we were chasing. We should have just finished it. It would have saved a lot of the Iraq veterans and stuff, the problems that they're having now.

Kris Jones makes no bones that he wanted to finish it back then. "There was no debate with me about it. I wanted him, if I'm going to 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, we was going to be a worldwide threat from then on and he was."

Larry adds, "if we had finished it back then, my son may not be in Afghanistan now." Watch the kwwl.com video.

Online Reporter:  Ron Steele





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