The Eyes of Orion: Five Tank Lieutenants in the Persian Gulf War

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Kent State University Press, 2001 - History - 360 pages
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Winner of the Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Book Award, The Eyes of Orion is a highly personal account of the day-to-day experiences of five platoon leaders who served in the same tank battalion in the 24th Infantry Division during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

While professional soldiers and historians will undoubtedly glean much from this narrative, the heart of the account concerns the experiences of the five young lieutenants as they prepared for and served in combat--from their deployment to Saudi Arabia through their six months in the desert training for war, their four days in combat and several weeks of occupation in Iraq, and finally their homecoming. The authors treat their combat experience in Saudi and Kuwait from the perspective of junior officers, all in their twenties and just out of college (four are graduates of West Point and one received his commission through an ROTC program), who served on the front line--facing physical, personal, moral, and leadership challenges.


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On page 225 and 227 where the author refers to Bob Hamowitz its actually Bill short for William. The reason we "c co. 3/15 inf " were being ingaged by friendly fire is because our support unit i.e. the 1-64tankers led by Liet Colonel Gordon showed up to battle position 102 not 103 late objective orange. C co 3/ 15 which is an inf company who were assigned as scouts to the 1/64 were already engaging the Republican Guard Force for 20 to 30 mins before the 1/64 showed up out of formation to support the battle. Luckily the A/10 warthogs came to our aid since we were highly out numbered with only 13 Bradleys . The name of the soldiers killed were Andy Alanis and John Hutto, obviously not important enough to the author to state in the book. Reading this book you would think these cowboy tank officers were the heros of all of the war yet the soldiers who died got no recognition even though they were ahead of the 1/64 doing their jobs wondering where were our tankers who were supposed to be fighting with us. As you describe in the book in your opinions the battle was already over when you recieved distress calls from Capt Hamowitz. I'm sure if your soldiers were dying of friendly fire from tankers making it to the battle grossly late you would have just calmly called in a sit rep and asked politely for your own people who obviously don't know vehicle identification to stop shooting. Also the commanders of the 1/64 and 3/69 armor divisions have still failed to take responsibility for the lives lost that day. As long as you 1/64 tanker liet s act and speak of yourselves as the true heroes of that battle the rest shouldn't matter should it . If you're gonna profit from something that cost American soldiers their lives it ought to be accurate and truthful not fictional rhetoric. I, Bryan Starkey, was on the Bradley with Captain William Hamowitz during this battle and know first hand of the truth. I also was in charge of all company maps and saw division battle positions that were on these map overlays; so I'm quite aware of where c/co 3/15 was located on the battlefield and it was not behind 1/64, rather in front. There were several other soldiers in my unit wounded that day including loss of legs, eyes, jaws and several other dismembering accounts. Actually Time Life Magazine took pictures after the battle and put them in their hard cover book of Desert Storm the picture of my personal friend "Sgt Kenneth Kosakowitz" known as Kenny was taken of him being loaded into a chopper the bodybag beside him was Andy Alanis who was the driver of one of the Bradleys who died when a sabot tank round from friendly fire impacted their vehicle.  


Operation Desert Shield Part 1
Desert Shield Part 2
Desert Storm The Air War
Desert Storm The Ground War
After the Storm

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About the author (2001)

Alex Vernon is assistant professor of English and chair of American Studies at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. He is of most succinctly bred (The Kent State University Press, 2006), editor of Arms and the Self: War, the Military and Autobiographical Writing (The Kent State University State University Press, 2005), and author of Soldiers Once and Still: Ernest Hemingway, James Salter, and Tim O'Brien (2004).

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