Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

December 29, 2012

Reaction to the death of Desert Storm commander


Mineral Wells Index

— STAFF REPORTS

Leaders from around the nation offered their reaction to the death of Norman Schwarzkopf; in addition, one local resident shared her memories of the general she once met.

“He was so gracious,” Mary Creighton said of meeting Gen. Schwarzkopf at a military conference in Las Vegas.

She said oftentimes people in his rank are surrounded by people and one cannot approach them.

“He spoke to me and I thanked him for his service and told him my son was a West Point graduate.

“He was very thoughtful and asked questions about the family. I came home and immediately bought his autobiography. During wartime, I used to like to hear his briefings on television,”  she said. “He was so clear, you could understand what he was trying to say.  I just liked him. When I met him it made it more real for me. I found him to be very personable.”

“He exuded that confidence,” she said of the Commander in Chief of U.S. Forces in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Creighton added that Schwarzkopf, with an IQ of 168, “was one of the smartest generals. He’s just a good fellow.”

Those who worked with Gen. Schwarzkopf:

“Barbara and I mourn the loss of a true American patriot and one of the great military leaders of his generation.

“A distinguished member of that ‘Long Gray Line’ hailing from West Point, Gen. Norm Schwarzkopf, to me, epitomized the ‘duty, service, country’ creed that has defended our freedom and seen this great nation through our most trying international crises. More than that, he was a good and decent man — and a dear friend.

“Barbara and I send our condolences to his wife, Brenda, and his wonderful family.” — former President George H.W. Bush.

“With the passing of Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, we’ve lost an American original. From his decorated service in Vietnam to the historic liberation of Kuwait and his leadership of United States Central Command, Gen. Schwarzkopf stood tall for the country and Army he loved. Our prayers are with the Schwarzkopf family, who tonight can know that his legacy will endure in a nation that is more secure because of his patriotic service.” — White House press secretary Jay Carney.

“With the passing of General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, America lost a great patriot and a great soldier.

“Norm served his country with courage and distinction for over 35 years.  The highlight of his career was the 1991 Persian Gulf War, Operation Desert Storm. ‘Stormin’ Norman’ led the coalition forces to victory, ejecting the Iraqi Army from Kuwait and restoring the rightful government.

“His leadership not only inspired his troops, but also inspired the nation.

“He was a good friend of mine, a close buddy. I will miss him. My wife, Alma, joins me in extending our deepest condolences to his wife, Brenda, and to her family.” — former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

“The men and women of the Department of Defense join me in mourning the loss of Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, whose 35 years of service in uniform left an indelible imprint on the United States military and on the country.

“The son of a decorated Army officer, Gen. Schwarzkopf followed his father’s legacy of service by enrolling in West Point in the 1950s.

“His bravery during two tours in Vietnam earned him three Silver Stars, and set him on the path lead our troops into battle in Grenada, and then to take charge of the overall allied effort in the first Gulf War as commander of United States Central Command. Gen. Schwarzkopf’s skilled leadership of that campaign liberated the Kuwaiti people and produced a decisive victory for the allied coalition. In the aftermath of that war, Gen. Schwarzkopf was justly recognized as a brilliant strategist and inspiring leader.

“Today, we recall that enduring legacy and remember him as one of the great military giants of the 20th century. My thoughts and prayers are with the Schwarzkopf family in this time of sadness and grief.” — Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.

“I was saddened to learn today of the passing of Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, a fellow West Point graduate, former CENTCOM commander and one of the 20th century’s finest soldiers and leaders. I join the civilian and military leaders of our country, and servicemen and women, past and present, in mourning his death. Gen. Schwarzkopf embodied the warrior spirit, serving with distinction in three conflicts over his 35 years of dedicated service. The hallmark of his remarkable career was the swift and decisive victory over Saddam Hussein’s forces after they invaded Kuwait. The thoughts and prayers of the Joint Chiefs and the Joint Force are with Gen. Schwarzkopf’s family and friends.” — Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.



The Associated Press contributed to this article.