At the March meeting of the Sons of the American Revolution – DeSoto Trace chapter, Gulf War I veteran Jason Temple shared his experiences with the group.
Temple attended the meeting with his wife Diane and son, Micaiah, who is a battalion commander in Junior ROTC at Benton High School and a National Honor Society student.
Next, Temple began his presentation by saying he joined the Texas Army Reserves and was placed with the 273rd Medical Detachment in Tomball, Texas. This was a Huey air ambulance outfit. He joined the Reserves to earn money to attend Texas A&M University.
“I trained with them for years and then in November 1990 we were activated for deployment because of the war in the Gulf, Desert Shield,” said Temple.
At Fort Sam Houston, Temple was promoted to sergeant and in charge of getting all the needed medical supplies and equipment. Temple was now considered a combat medic. Once ready, he, the other men and tons of materials were put on a C-5 Galaxy aircraft, the largest in the world at that time.
Thirty hours later they landed in Saudi Arabia where they headquartered out of a warehouse. We were sleeping with our bombs,” said Temple of the dangerous conditions.
In December his unit was sent to a neutral zone near the Iraqi border, “out in the middle of nowhere,” he said. They were there in support of the Army’s First Cavalry Division, which had not yet arrived.
Temple was told to get what other supplies they needed so he headed off in a truck for a 300-mile journey to a staging area. When he got there it was obvious the place was not at all organized, so he was told to look around for what he needed in terms of air ambulance supplies. Eventually the gear was loaded and they started the return trip through what Temple called “Pipeline Alley.”
Along their route they would see other supplies dropped along the roadside, so they kept picking up more items as they went.
But once, while walking back to the truck they noticed it had sunk into the sand. Temple crawled under it and saw that it was four-wheel drive. After playing around with a few switches they got it in the correct gear and slowly pulled away. But the truck would not work in fourth, fifth or sixth gear so it ended up being a 25 mile an hour trip for nearly 300 miles.
In February 1991 the unit began their missions, flying in support of actions taking place out ahead of them. At night they had to fly under 200 feet because of all the Air Force missions going on in the area.
One night in late February they got a call, the coordinates and assignment to head out to find a downed aircraft near the border. They used LORAN to find the aircraft, kept circling until Temple heard a voice; then homed in on it, found the crew, put them and sensitive equipment in their helicopter and took off.
Temple said there were times during his service the unit rendered assistance to Iraqi soldiers and children as well. “It was a lot of families,” he said.
After the short war ended the units began packing up for the return trip home. During those few weeks he did some sight-seeing, seeing oil wells and a 1,500-plus year old church near Jubail.
About three years later he’s back at work at Carter and Burgess Engineers when suddenly he’s called into a work room. Then pilots from his days in the Middle East walk in. “I had no idea what was up,” he said. It was then he was awarded the Air Medal for that successful mission saving the downed pilots near the front. Temple showed the medal as well as a beautiful Liberation of Kuwait medial he received.
Concluding his talk he told of his great uncle who was killed aboard the USS Oklahoma during the Dec. 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor attack and that just last year his remains were positively identified which was nice closure for the family.
Temple lives in Benton and is the Hot Springs Village public utilities director.
Also, president Charles McLemore swore in SAR's newest member, David Dorrough.
At next month’s April 14 meeting, scheduled speaker HSV Fire Chief Jason Miller will speak on the life of a fire fighter and the HSV Fire Department.
On May 12, Beverly Salisbury will give a presentation, “Unsung Heroes of the American Revolution.”
For more information on SAR, contact president McLemore at pcmcmoun firstname.lastname@example.org. DeSoto Trace chapter has gained several members in the first three months of this year. If you think you have a patriot in your family line, contact McLemore or attend a future meeting.
Come join the fun, learn some history and see if this group is for you. Assistance can be provided for your patriot ancestor search.