Countian Supplies Troops


July 14, 1991

TANEYTOWN — Cpl. Brenda K. Brauning, a member of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, recently returned home after helping to supply food rations to more than 18,000 Marines and sailors at 18 mess sites across Saudi Arabia during the Persian Gulf war.

The daughter of Delbert and Mary Sue Brauning received a certificate of commendation for her actions there.

Brauning was responsible for communicating with the Saudi driverswho hauled the food in tractor-trailer convoys and tracking all goods that came into the rations warehouse.

She also stood guard duty while serving in the gulf.


WESTMINSTER -- Robert Owen Smith was locked inside a gun turret, on the battleship Missouri, for the duration of the ground war.

For 3 1/2 days, the U.S. Navy petty officer fired 187 rounds from the ship's 16-inch guns.

"Every time we thought we'd be relieved, we would get another message to stay put," said the 24-year-old son of Owen and Darlene Smith, both of here. "We lived on the bagged lunches they kept sending us."

Each of the ship's nine turrets weighs as much as a new Navy destroyer and goes seven levels down into the ship, he said. On their level, Smith and four other sailors shared the long duty, as the ship sailed close to shore to attack Iraqi bunkers, installations and radar.

"The ship was so close, it was on the gun line," he said. "Ground troops call it the front line."

Mines also were an ever-present danger. The first two ships that preceded the Missouri to the firing line were both hit.

"We had 24-hour watches for mines," he said. "As soon as we spotted one, our divers were sent to detonate it."

The Navy plans to decommission the Missouri, one of the last fourbattleships in the world. Smith said he liked being part of the ship's long history, dating back to World War II.

"It's a huge ship, one of the best designed for surface warfare," he said. "It carries a plaque, commemorating the Japanese surrender on its decks."

A graduate of Westminster High School, Smith, who has nearly two years leftof his present enlistment, hopes to continue his career in the Navy.

After more than two years away from home, he also would like to be stationed on the East Coast.

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