Kenyon K. Jackson
U. S. Army
Desert Storm
Dates of Service: 1987 - 1993
187th Transportation Division

Kenyon was born in Woodville, Mississippi. After graduating from high school in 1987, he studied at Jackson State University before entering the U.S. Army in December of 1987. He took basic training at Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia, then entered mechanics school as part of his Advanced Individual Training at Fort Dix, New Jersey, where he learned to work on tractor-trailers and tanks. On October 31, 1990 he left from Fort Polk, Louisiana, and flew 26 hours to Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Storm. "The minute that you step off of the plane there's this odor," he recalls. "It wasn't a good smell; so we had to adapt to that and the climate was very warm, very hot there." Kenyon says he spent his nine-month tour in the desert, where soldiers slept in their gas masks for fear that Saddam Hussein might use mustard gas. Some of the stress he faced was in not knowing when he was going home. Several times, he recalls, his unit, an African-American company, was told that they would soon go home. "We had been given four different dates," he recalls. "That's when the frustration started," he says. "You could just tell that the people were being stressed out by being over there and not knowing when you're going home." Returning to the States in June of 1991, Kenyon re-enlisted for two more years and was sent into a reserve unit in Natchez, Mississippi. Meanwhile, he became a Mississippi state policeman. He later moved to Bossier City, and is involved in a revitalization project for the Allendale community. He has one daughter.