Operation Welcome Home (1991) Movie Script

If tomorrow
all the things were gone
I'd worked for all my life
And I had to start again
With just my children
and my wife
I'd thank my lucky stars
To be livin' here today
Because the flag
still stands for freedom
And they can't
take that away
And I'm proud to be
an American
Where at least
I know I'm free
Because there ain't
no doubt, I love this land
God bless the U.S.A.
The Chairman
of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
General Colin Powell.
We're all very proud
of those Marines and sailors.
We're also proud
of the soldiers and the airmen
and the Coast Guardsmen,
all the G.I.s
of our armed forces
who showed what this nation
is capable of;
who showed that
we stand for something
and, yes, we do more
than stand for something.
We're willing to fight
for something.
America loves them.
America is proud of them,
and America thanks them
for what they did
for the cause of freedom.
I thought Saddam Hussein would
realize that we were serious,
but he's even dumber
than I thought he was
because once you send
Bob Hope into a theater,
it usually means you're serious
and we're going to win.
But in the final analysis,
it came down to brave,
young men and women who were
willing to go in harm's way.
Summer, 1990.
America at peace.
A nation at play,
in pursuit of its values
and traditions.
After 40 years of Cold War
and confrontation
with the Soviets,
America was preparing
for a peaceful future.
While America looked inward,
far off in Iraq, Saddam Hussein
was building the fourth
largest army in the world
with weapons supplied
by the Soviets
and the western alliance.
Ironically, some
of the very nations
that would confront Saddam
in Operation: Desert Storm.
Yet, beyond his military power,
the depth of Saddam's brutality
was reflected
in his repression at home
by public hangings
and the apocalyptic
scenes at Halabja,
where he gassed to death over
5,000 Iraqi Kurds in 1988.
In building up
his personality cult,
Saddam took
a most dangerous gamble
when he surprised the world
by invading Kuwait
on August 2, 1990.
It was a gamble that triggered
an immediate response
from the United States.
It is not the United States
against Iraq.
It is Iraq against the world.
A response which initiated
the most massive mobilization
and troop buildup
since the Vietnam War,
with the support
of the American people,
a combination
of new military leadership
and high-tech weaponry
were brought together to contain
Saddam's threat
to the world order.
I loves you!
I love you so much!
From the lakes
of Minnesota
To the hills of Tennessee
Across the plains
of Texas
From sea to shining sea
And across America,
a new wave of patriotism
swept the nation
as American families saw
their sons and daughters
go off in defense of liberty
in order to free
the Kuwaiti people
and prevent further Iraqi
aggression against Saudi Arabia.
And I'm proud to be
an American, where at least...
And the playing fields
of America
would become empty
with the departure
of America's sons and daughters.
And I'd gladly stand up
Next to you and
defend her still today
'Cause there ain't no doubt
I love this land
God bless the U.S.A.
And I'm proud
to be an American
Where at least
I know I'm free
And I won't forget
the men who died
Who gave that right to me
And I'd gladly stand up
Next to you and
defend her still today
Because there ain't
no doubt I love this land
God bless the U.S.A.
While Americans debated about
the tactics of confronting
Iraq's aggression,
at no time did they deny support
for their sons
and daughters in uniform.
God bless the U.S.A.
In August 1990,
America was preparing to
confront the aggressor's might
in Operation: Desert Shield.
George Bush would
draw a line in the sand
against further
Iraqi aggression.
American soldiers would
learn from their leaders
what America expected of them.
Everybody's recognizing
that they probably
won't be a war in Europe,
something we worried
about for 40 years.
Everybody's saying it's going
to be a world of peace;
things are going to
be different.
Couldn't be, that
in this kind of new world,
we still have
this kind of an aggressor.
And then, over
the last few days of July
and then into early August,
the first day of August,
it became clear
that this buildup
that was taking place just
north of the Kuwaiti border
was much too large
a buildup simply to be
a threat or something
to scare Kuwait.
But Mr. Hussein was
giving assurances
to all of his friends
and neighbors
that, "no, I'm not
going to attack,"
and the next day, he did attack.
In a few short hours,
he subjugated a free
and independent country
by the force of arms.
What you're doing
is very important,
because it sends a message
that this is a new era.
It is a new world.
The United States and
Soviet Union are cooperating.
The U.N. is working again,
but there are still bad people
in the world.
Mr. Hussein, Saddam Hussein,
is a bad person,
and he's got to understand
that kind of aggression
can't be tolerated.
One of the great joys I had
and it was
with a deep sense of pride
that when the president
called us up to Camp David
and I went up
with your Commander-In-Chief,
General Schwarzkopf,
and we laid out for him
what we could do
and what our options were
and what the Air Force could do
and what the Army could do
what the Navy could do and what
the Marine Corps could do,
what the Coast Guard could do...
the great source of pride
to me was to know
that I wasn't just
blowing hot air.
I wasn't just making it up.
I knew what
the Armed Forces could do
because I know the kind
of troops you guys are.
I know the kind of capability
you have in your weapons.
I know the kind
of capability that exists
and the kind of leadership
that you have.
I know what you are like
because I've seen you
at the national training center
and I visited the 24th
when I was force com
commander last year,
so I knew what the Armed Forces
of the United States could do.
I knew that if
the president called on us,
we could do just what he asks us
to do and do it in short order.
And here, in a matter
of 5 weeks and 2 days,
we have assembled
well over 100,000 soldiers.
Well, well over 100,000
soldiers, sailors and Marines,
airmen and Coast Guardsmen and
have put a force in place here
in the kingdom and in the other
nations around the kingdom
that will make it clear
to Saddam Hussein
that he ain't going no further.
The president's put down
the marker
that working with
our other friends,
The United Nations,
Soviet Union,
around the world, the
aggression's going to be stopped
and we won't be satisfied
until Mr. Hussein
takes his army out of Kuwait
and lets the Kuwaiti people
have their country back.
So you guys are
an important part of all that.
You're what makes it possible
for the United States to
play its role in the world.
Um, I sound like
I'm giving a speech
back here in Washington
rather than out here
in the Saudi desert,
but this is the kind of speech
I give back in Washington
to let the Congress know
and to let the American people
know the quality,
quality of the Armed Forces
we have today.
And it's been another
source of pride to see
how the American people
have responded to this
over the last 5 or 6 weeks.
Folks just said "Well,
maybe they won't be
supportive after a few weeks. "
Every passing day,
the support increases.
"Maybe Congress will
start to be uneasy. "
The secretary and I
briefed Congress 2 days ago
and every single member
of the committee
we were preparing before, the
Senate Armed Services Committee,
supported what we're doing
and supported you guys.
Others have said,
"Well, it'll be too hot.
It'll be too gritty.
It'll be too dusty out there.
Won't they get hot
and tired?"
Soldiers have always
gotten hot and tired!
But you don't know
the kind of soldiers we got!
You don't know the kind
of hoo-ah guys we got,
who can take it and keep going.
So don't worry about my boys
out there; they'll take it.
- Hoo-ah!
- That's right.
Yeah! Hoo-ah!
With that type
of leadership and guidance,
the troops, the hardware
and technology
of the new American military
was brought to the fore.
With intensive training
in desert warfare
in both the United States
and the Persian Gulf.
First and foremost,
the military leadership saw
that the only proper response
was a massive buildup
of U.S. Forces,
thus avoiding
the mistakes of Vietnam
and the polarization
of that era.
Operation: Desert Shield
would afford America
the time to build up
its troop strength
to over half-a-million
soldiers, sailors,
airmen and Marines in the Gulf.
While acclimating them
to the heat,
sand and cold of that region,
it took a high level
of commitment and sacrifice
for America's military
men and women
to endure the loneliness
of a foreign land,
away from their families
and loved ones.
Some experts
would question whether
America's volunteer military
would be strong enough
to face down an enemy,
by 8 years
of bloody war with Iran.
The U.S. forces
were supported
by a coalition of 27 Arab
and other countries,
along with
America's NATO allies.
Thus, Saddam not only
faced American might,
but a united, global effort,
empowered by the United Nations.
On Thanksgiving, 1990,
President and Mrs. Bush
journeyed to the Gulf
in order to re-enforce
America's commitment
to confront Saddam's armies.
General Schwarzkopf,
we have a little present
for you.
It comes from the families
and friends
of our troops around the world
and it's just exactly your size!
Here he is!
Wear it with pride!
All right, well, Barbara and I
Barbara and I are very proud to
be sharing this Thanksgiving
with the men and women
of our allied forces,
and later we're going to visit
your partners in the Army,
the Navy and the Coast Guard,
Marines, together,
the finest armed forces
in the entire world.
We are here
because we believe
in freedom - our freedom,
and the freedom of others.
And we're here because
we believe in principle,
and we're here because
we believe in you.
Earlier this week, I set out the
key reasons why we're here.
Making a stand in defense
of peace and freedom,
and we're to protect freedom,
here to protect the future and
here to protect innocent lives.
First, freedom together,
as 10 United Nation Security
Council resolutions made clear,
there's a compelling
case for your mission.
What we're confronting
is a classic bully
who thinks he can get away
with kicking sand
in the face of the world.
And so far, we have acted
with restraint as is our way.
But Saddam is making
the mistake of his life
if he confuses
an abundance of restraint
and patience
with a lack of resolve.
Can't do much
about this warm weather,
but I hope you're
getting enough MREs.
Oh yeah!
That's a military term meaning
I'd rather have a Bud Light.
Now look, look, we know
that the days can
get pretty long out here
and you'll be glad to know
that if it goes on too long,
we have a secret weapon
in reserve.
If push comes to shove,
we're gonna get Roseanne Barr
to go to Iraq and sing
the national anthem.
Time was running out
for Saddam Hussein.
He stubbornly refused
to heed the order
of the United Nations
to withdraw from Kuwait.
Jan January 16, 1991.
America and its coalition
partners go to war.
I'd like to do that
by first reminding you
of the military
operational objective
that we set out to accomplish,
and that is simply
to eject the Iraqi army
from Kuwait.
All of our activities
must ultimately
support this fundamental
military objective.
Of course, when
we achieve that objective,
we then will be
in a position to restore
the legitimate
government of Kuwait
and provide for
the security of the region.
I'm not telegraphing anything;
I just want everybody to know
that we have a toolbox
that's full of lots of tools,
and I brought them
all to the party.
General Schwarzkopf
has them all at the party.
So, how are we doing
with respect to
that major operational
the Iraqi army in Kuwait.
Our strategy to go after this
army is very, very simple.
First, we're going
to cut it off,
and then we're going to kill it.
President Bush unleashed
American air power
in Operation: Desert Storm,
the most devastating display
of military firepower
in the history of man.
Over a 42 day period,
America launched
a massive air campaign,
flying over 100,000 sorties,
the full arsenal of American
and allied air power
was brought to bear against
Saddam's entrenched forces
in both Kuwait and Iraq itself.
Out of the black of night,
the unseen, highly sophisticated
F-117 Stealth fighters
destroyed key Iraqi command
and control centers.
The Stealth fighters,
F-15 Eagles, F-16 Falcons
and the Navy's Tomcats,
Hornets, Intruders
and Corsairs became part
of an air campaign
referred to as the Nintendo War.
Apache helicopters,
the slow-flying but
devastating A-10 Thunderbolts
and naval battleship guns
hit Iraqi ground forces.
Meanwhile, thousands
of feet above it all
were the old and reliable
B-52 bombers,
pounding away
at Iraqi ground targets.
On February 23,
the ground war commenced.
Over 200,000
allied troops crossed
into Kuwait and Iraqi territory.
Smart weapons like the
computerized Tomahawk missiles
were tested for the first
time in Gulf combat.
Much of the high-tech
weapon systems of laser
and TV guided bombs and missiles
were able to hit their targets
with amazing accuracy,
while keeping Iraqi civilian
losses to a minimum.
With satellites 22,000 miles
above the earth
and night-vision optics
on the ground,
the coalition forces were
able to see the enemy
while Iraqi troops
were left in the dark
with radar jamming and strikes
against their air defenses.
How my heart beats
To find myself
Upon your shore
How I still feel
My loss of comfort
Gone before
Iraq's once-mighty army
would face 100 hours of hell.
In a classic military tactic,
American and coalition forces
launched ground attacks
that completely overwhelmed
Saddam's military machine.
So time is stolen
I cannot
Hold you long enough
And so
This is where
I should be now
Days and nights
falling by
Days and nights
falling by me
I know of a dream
I should be holding
Days and nights...
On February 27, 1991,
Kuwait City is liberated.
Thank you, Bush!
Thank you, Bush!
Thank you, Bush!
The remnants of the Iraqi army
are in full retreat.
Thousands surrender
as U.S.-led forces
pursue the Iraqis
toward Baghdad and Basra
amid scenes of
mass destruction and chaos,
impacting on the world's
That's it! Go, Bravo!
Let's go, Bravo!
Awesome, man.
Scattered units
of the Iraqi army
still posed a threat
to the American forces,
triggering a coordinated
U.S. assault with tanks,
aircraft and armor in the
final battle of Desert Storm.
This was the ultimate test
of combined arms tactics,
lending Army, Navy, Air Force
and Marine combat
power and technology
that made for a quick
and decisive victory.
While high-tech weaponry
got most of the attention,
it was the men and women of the U.S.
military that made it work.
From the pilots, grunts and
technicians to the commanders,
America put forth
the best-trained
and most motivated force
in its history.
While Saddam's legacy would
be death and destruction,
the images of Kuwait's
burning oil fields
would be Dante's Inferno
brought into the 21st century.
and its coalition partners
had turned Saddam's
mother of all battles
into a major tragedy
and disaster
for the Iraqi people.
As far as Saddam Hussein being
a great military strategist,
he is neither a strategist
nor is he schooled
in the operational arts
nor is he a tactician
nor is he a general
nor is he a soldier.
Other than that,
he's a great military man.
I want you to know that.
While some American forces
still remain in the Gulf region,
the hopes and prayers of a
daughter's letter to her father
are answered by the return
of the men and women
of Desert Storm
to their home land.
Operation: Desert Storm
was to become Operation:
Welcome Home.
Among the first
to return were the POWs,
warmly welcomed by
Defense Secretary Dick Cheney
and General Colin Powell.
A wave of happiness and pride
spread throughout America
as thousands of soldiers
returned to their loved ones.
Operation: Welcome Home
was to become
America's ultimate victory.
- Welcome home.
- Thank you very much!
Thank you for your help!
It's really good to see you!
Thank you.
Thank you!
I saw your picture
in the paper the other day.
Welcome home.
It's nice to be here.
Oh, man, nice to see you!
Thank you very much.
Thank you! Welcome back!
Nice to meet you.
Great, sir, thank you very much.
Thank you very much.
It's wonderful to be here.
Ready? Step.
How are you?
Glad to be here.
How are you doing, ma'am?
- Welcome home!
- Thank you!
Thank you, sir, good to be home.
- Welcome home.
- Thank you, ma'am.
Thank you.
- Welcome home.
- Thank you, sir.
Proud to be a part of this, sir.
We're happy that you're home.
Thank you, sir.
Welcome home.
Nice to meet you, ma'am.
Welcome home.
Thanks for getting us home.
They're looking for you.
Welcome home!
Welcome home!
Good to be back, sir.
Sir? Delightful
to meet you.
Welcome home!
Thank you very much, ma'am.
- Welcome home!
- Thank you, thank you.
Great to be back!
It's so good to see you.
Welcome home!
- Thank you.
- We prayed for you!
Thank you!
Pleasure to see you!
Thank you!
O'er the land of the free
And the home of the brave
For those of you
who are a little groggy
from last night's flight home,
welcome home.
We're delighted
to have you all back!
I can't tell you
how proud we are
- of each and every one of you.
- Yes, sir!
And to all our servicemen
all across this country,
we say "thank you. "
And to the veterans
of every conflict,
we say "thank you. "
And let's this new spirit
in our country
give proper recognition
to the Vietnam veterans;
their time has come.
Their return was
not to be a reminder
of the dark shadows of Vietnam,
but a national celebration
of joy and patriotism.
Operation: Desert Storm
exercised the ghost
of Vietnam's era,
when America only honored
the valor and pain
of the POWs
of that tortured conflict.
Operation: Welcome Home
brings forth
the poignant emotions
of the returning
World War II veterans.
As with Saddam,
America then faced an evil
presence in the Axis powers.
The returning heroes
of World War II
moved Americans to new heights
of happiness and patriotism.
I'm sad the place
that always calls to me
Sometimes I will sigh
Sometimes I'll just
sit and cry
But I know I'll be back
because you see
There's no place
like home
There's no place
like home
I played there as a kid
Like my father did
America's fighters returned
to the loving arms
of a proud nation,
determined to protect
freedom at home
and throughout the world.
When time has passed
I hope it lasts
Everything just
goes a little faster
I know that I've found
My sacred ground
And home will
never be surpassed
Time cannot erase
It's the warmest place
I take it with me everywhere
It's in my heart, forever
There is no place like home
There is no place like home
I played there like a kid
Like my father did
I know I'll be back
There's no place like home
There's no place like home
There's no place like home
There's no place like home