Howard Goes To Grenada

       In October of 1983 the United States invaded the tiny island nation of Grenada in the Caribbean, in Operation Urgent Fury.  US Army, Navy and Marine forces invaded the island to restore civil order and remove a pro-Cuban Communist government in favor of a pro-western one.   Also, with the taking of Americans hostages in Iran in recent memory, US medical students were evacuated from the island; "The nightmare of our hostages in Iran must never be repeated" - President Reagan.

       Operation Urgent Fury had begun in the early hours of October 25th.  By November 2nd all military objectives had been secured.  The next day, hostilities were declared to be at an end. The Grenada Operation Cost the lives of 18 American Servicemen - 11 soldiers, three Maries and four Navy SEALS.  A 19th soldier later died of his wounds.   In all, 116 US personnel were wounded on the island.  When Howard and his buddy Tommy were sent down things were a lot less Urgent and a lot less Furious.   Howard and Tommy were sent to Grenada on November 26th, the day after Thanksgiving.  They didn't know how many people had been hurt, they just knew they were getting away from Fort Bragg for a few days, a sort of 'military vacation', thanks to good 'ol Uncle Sam.  No one would be shooting at them, and Howard figured he wouldn't have to shine his boots every day.

       At the time Howard and Tommy Rowe were assigned to Bravo Company, 82nd Signal Battalion, 82nd Airborne Division. The 82nd Signal Battalion's mission was to provide communication support to the 82nd Airborne Division. Howard and his friend Tommy Rowe were sent down to relieve other members of their platoon who had been down there for a period of time. Their mission was to be operators of a radio, which was called a TAC SAT, which stood for Tactical Satellite Communications. The two of them were in Grenada for 17 days, and they returned safely from the island with the last of the combat troops in mid December 1983.

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That's Howard