About the Book
Thank you for your interest in the book, and for visiting the site. It is with great humility that I present Dear Diane: Letters from the First Gulf War.
I decided to publish this now for two reasons. First I wanted to publicly acknowledge my wife Diane for being there for me when I needed her the most. My deployment all those years ago was a very trying time in our lives. I wanted the gesture to be heartfelt and tangible. But, more than something that I could just buy in a store. The 20th anniversary of the start of the First Gulf War struck me as a good time to do this.
The second reason is larger and may very well be overly ambitious. Even so, my other aim is to call attention to the sacrifices of our soldiers. But, more importantly I want to highlight the tremendous sacrifices that are shouldered by the families of our soldiers. This I feel is the great untold story that I hope this book illuminates in some small measure.
I am humbled in offering this because I know that in 1990 -1991 I was just one of over 500,000 American soldiers deployed to the region at that time. And I am fully aware that I am not the only husband who missed his wife and wrote to her to express those sentiments. Our story is not new or unique. Rather it is timeless and commonplace. Therein, I think lies its potential resonance in that the feelings expressed are so simple and so universal. It is my hope that you the reader will recognize your own story in ours.
The letters in and of themselves are not individually profound. They are not sweeping poetic verses that express undying love. At the time that I wrote them I could not anticipate that anyone other than Diane would ever be reading them. Therefore, they are at times rather parochial. Just the writings of a husband sharing his thoughts, fears, hopes and dreams with his wife. But, taken as a collective I think they present a compelling story whose arc culminates with the commitment of ground forces to combat which is an event that always has uncertain outcomes.
As I write these words I know that a similar story arc is playing out over and over again in far too many households across this country. We are decisively engaged in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our soldiers and their loved ones are dealing with so much right now. Therefore, I am further humbled by the enormity of their sacrifice. If this work helps bring to light the true heroism of just one current or former military family this exercise will have been well worth it.
Twenty years is a long time. And the time and place of which I write seem very distant. Still, there are times when the emotion of that period in our lives is immediate. But, we survived it all and we’re still here.
Thank you for your time and attention. I hope you enjoy the book.