WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Where were you 20 years ago? It may be hard to remember, but this time two decades ago, the nation was captivated by the first Gulf War.
Many folks say they can not believe it's already been 20 years since Operation Desert Storm began. How much things have changed.
President George H. W. Bush announced Operation Desert Storm on January 16, 1991, launching the country into war with Iraq. Thousands of troops deployed to the Persian Gulf as Americans watched the war unfold on TV in their living rooms.
Former Congressional candidate Ilario Pantano was a 19-year-old Marine when he found out he was going to the Gulf.
"I remember doing laundry when we found out that Saddam Hussein had invaded Kuwait in August of 1990, and we mobilized here and flew out of Cherry Point in December of 1990, and on the 20th anniversary of this day in 1991, we were out living in the desert. We were on the border of Kuwait waiting for Iraqis to push down," Pantano said.
Pantano said much has changed overseas since the Gulf War. He said it's important to appreciate those who served and those who are still serving overseas.