By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen
Local Gulf War veteran marched in National Memorial Day Parade
Parade highlighted 25th anniversary 

Lawrenceville – Twenty-five years ago, more than 600,000 service members took part in Operation Desert Storm, at the time the largest deployment of U.S. Armed Forces since Vietnam. John Bensley then a Specialist, E-4 from Lamont, OK, was one of those who left friends and family behind to serve our nation and secure a victory for freedom. On May 30, Bensley marched among more than 500 Gulf War veterans in the American Veterans Center’s National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, DC. 

To mark the 25th anniversary of Operation Desert Storm and honor those who served and sacrificed, the National Desert Storm War Memorial Association and America Veterans Center invited more than 500 Gulf War veterans to reunite at the National Memorial Day Parade. The veterans are participating thanks to the National Desert Storm War Memorial Association and its mission to honor the legacy of the Gulf War through building a monument in the nation’s capital to the 383 service members who fell during the war and honoring those who served in this pivotal moment in world history. 

“While foremost our mission at the National Desert Storm War Memorial Association is to build a monument to our fallen brothers and sisters, we are also committed to honoring the many hundreds of thousands of men and women who left homes, jobs, and families to stand up for America’s values,” said Scott Stump, Founder, President and CEO of the National Desert Storm War Memorial Association. “We are so glad that veterans like John Bensley are marching with us to teach Americans about the service and sacrifice made by all veterans of Operation Desert Storm.”   

Bensley and other veterans followed part of the same route service members returning from the Middle East marched 25 years ago. Like their comrades of the past, Bensley was met with the cheers of hundreds of thousands of patriotic Americans. By honoring Gulf War veterans alongside veterans of World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and our most recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the parade will cement Operation Desert Storm as one of our nation’s key battles for freedom. 

In 2014, Congress passed legislation and President Barack Obama signed a law approving construction of the National Desert Storm War Memorial in Washington, DC. Since that day, the National Desert Storm War Memorial Association has been working to build the monument and aims to raise the millions of dollars needed to support that mission. 

To learn more about the Desert Storm War Memorial Association and its participation in the Memorial Day Parade, contact Fred Wellman, Public Relations Chair, NDSWM Board of Directors at 202-957-2688 or fred.wellman@ndswm.org. To learn more about the American Veterans Center’s National Memorial Day Parade, visit www.americanveteranscenter.org/avc-events/parade/. 

ABOUT THE NATIONAL DESERT STORM WAR MEMORIAL ASSOCIATION: The National Desert Storm War Memorial Association is a 501(c)3 organization with the sole mission of constructing a Desert Storm War Memorial in Washington, D.C. www.ndswm.org.