Gulf Wars

After Iraq invaded Kuwait, we were asked to volunteer for the war effort.

I was assigned to the 2nd group, and flew to Baltimore, Maryland; and, then went to Fort Meade for training and equipment. I was issued a full nuclear-biological-chemical protective suit and even dog tags!

My class was taken to a site for gas mask training.

Gas mask training Photo By: Staff Sgt. Shejal Pulivarti

I then got on a jet, going to the American logistics base near Frankfurt, Germany. Over the Atlantic, the plane began turning around and slowly descending back to where we came from.

The pilot announced that we had lost one of our two engines.

There was a lot of water in the marshes, just before an emergency landing at Gander, Newfoundland.

Gander, Newfoundland, Canada

We were parked near the Terminal, and not allowed to leave the plane. After many, many hours we boarded a jet to London.

The air war, and no-fly zones had begun; but, the Heathrow agents devised a way to get me to get me to Abu Dhabi, by way of the back door.

After flying north of the mountains, we stopped near New Delhi, India. Then south to Bombay, where I had to leave the plane. The flights were announced in Hindi-Urdu.

Luckily, an English speaking agent told me to watch him; and, he told me when the Abu Dhabi flight was boarding.

It was after my seventh in-flight meal of curried chicken, that things began to get interesting. Some Pakistanis wanted hot water for their tea. Naturally, they set up their boiler and started a fire in the aisle. The poor stewardess was like a British school mistress with unruly children.

After putting out the fire, she gave them boiling hot water.

Current Gulf Air Stewardess uniform

My UAE visa had expired, by the time arrived at the Abu Dhabi airport. The Systems Engineer I was replacing was there after midnight; and, tossed a new visa over a glass wall between the arrivals and visitors. The customs agent saw all my military baggage, and told me to bring Sadam’s nuts to him in a bag.