Nearly 30 years ago I wore a POW/MIA bracelet in memory of Major Koritz. At the time I started wearing it he had been recently listed as missing in action. I'm not sure when I actually removed it and placed it in a drawer, (it was after several years) while I waited to hear he was back Home. Not too long ago I found the following articles ; Major Thomas F. Koritz was born August 10th, 1953 in Rochelle, Illinois. Throughout his life, he motivated and inspired individuals not only in his community, but throughout the military as an Air force officer and pilot. On January 16, 1991, he was killed in action as well as his crew member Lt. Col. Donnie Holland while conducting a bombing mission during Operation Desert Storm (Parsons 1991). Thomas Koritz was born to Dr. Lloyd and Mary Koritz in the rural farming community of Rochelle, Illinois. Kortiz is remembered as a star in football, basketball, track, and weightlifting, as well as a hard-working student while attending Rochelle Township High school. While in high school, Koritz had an interest in aircraft and had spent much of his free time around the local airport (which now bears his name). After graduation, Koritz decided to further his education and attended the college of University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in pursue of a biology degree. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from U of I, and then following in the footsteps of his father and brother who were physicians, enrolled in the medical program in Rockford (UPI 1991). He enlisted in the Air Force during his residency after medical school, and on October 8, 1982 was the first pilot-physician with an M.D. to earn his silver wings. At the time, only five air force pilots were also flight surgeons (Parsons 1991). Koritz was also involved in the community while he was training. As Mr. Hud Hudnall, 14th Student Squadron Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals (IFF) Simulator instructor recounts, “He was a great pilot and great guy. I remember working to get him special permission to work in the Emergency Room at the hospital downtown on the weekends because he just wanted to help out” (Johnson, 2013). Koritz earned the title “Top Gun” after F-15 training. Koritz’s family knew that because of his great flying skills, he would probably see action after the invasion of Kuwait by Saddam Hussien’s Iraqi army. “I had hoped that, as a flight surgeon, he wouldn’t be in the front lines, but he’s such a dedicated, gung-ho flier, I’m sure he wanted to be there,” explained his cousin Gary Koritz (UPI 1991). Koritz’s squadron was deployed to Saudi Arabia when Operation Desert Storm began on January 15, 1991 (Chicago Tribune 1991). On August 2, 1990 the Iraqis invaded Kuwait. The initial response from the UN called for a trade ban on Iraq and denounce the invasion, hoping the Iraqis would conclude that they should withdraw from the region leaving the twenty percent of the global oil reserves they had taken over. While much of the American public supported sanctions, President Bush believed it would not be strong enough deterrents to cause the withdraw from Kuwait (History 2009). This withdraw was necessary, for as Directive 45 of August 20, 1990 stated, U.S interests in the Persian Gulf are vital to the national security. These interests include access to oil and the security and stability of friendly states in the region. The United States will defend its vital interests in the area, through the use of U.S. military force if necessary and appropriate, against any power with interests inimical to our own. ( Knecht, 2010) On August 7, Operation Desert Shield began. Thomas Koritz and other select individuals in his tactical fighter squadron were deployed to Seeb Air base, Oman (Kolmer 2016). The purpose of the Operation was to contain the Iraqi Army and defend oil-rich Saudi Arabia, where many of the Kuwaiti government officials fled after the invasion. While Desert Shield was underway, Saddam Hussein did not plan on reversing his decision on annexing Kuwait. After tensions continued to rise while Iraq’s army built up to 300,000 troops, the U.N agreed to authorize the use of force if Iraq did not withdraw from Kuwait by January 15, 1991. As with any war, public opinion was vital to the success of the military. During this time of buildup between both the U.S.-led coalition and Iraqi forces, Saddam promised to lead the Americans into a ground war which would be a “mother of all battles” (History 2009). He calculated that the U.S. was “a society which cannot accept 10,000 dead in one battle” because of the sentiment post-Vietnam and the media at the time (Knecht, 2010). Saddam knew that the United States with the U.N.-backed coalition was far superior to his standing army in Kuwait; however, Saddam did believe if he were to make the war incredibly bloody and violent, that the public opinion would cause the U.S. to retreat, and the Iraqis would be able to retain control of Kuwait. When the deadline for Iraq to leave Kuwait came and passed, the U.S led the offensive named Operation Desert Storm. This operation was led by an air campaign which involved Koritz’s 335th Tactical Fighter Squadron.