The First Gulf War: The War to Free Kuwait Exhibit New exhibit opening at the N.C. Museum of History, Friday, Nov. 4

Gulf War exhibit

A new traveling exhibit about The First Gulf War: The War to Free Kuwait, opens Friday, Nov. 4, at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh. The Government of the State of Kuwait funded the exhibit to honor the 75,000 men and women, and their units, stationed in North Carolina, who served and sacrificed to liberate Kuwait. Admission is free, and the memorial exhibit will run through Jan. 15 at the museum before beginning its journey across the state. 

“I am proud to take every opportunity to acknowledge and thank the members of our military,” said N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz. “It is important to remember that our freedom is due to the men and women who have sacrificed, and continue  to sacrifice, for us every day.”

The N.C. Museum of History, part of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, and the N.C. Department of Military and Veterans Affairs have partnered to create this informative exhibit.

The First Gulf War features eight informational panels, filled with photographs, recounting the conflict that began when dictator Saddam Hussein attacked Kuwait on Aug. 2, 1990. The resulting conflict became known as the Persian Gulf War of 1990-1991, when the United States led the most diverse coalition of nations in recent history in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm to oust Iraqi forces that had invaded Kuwait. The First Gulf War highlights Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, weapons of the Gulf War, and the liberation of Kuwait.

“This travelling exhibit is a unique way to highlight North Carolina’s many contributions to the Persian Gulf War.  Over 75,000 service members contributed 45 per cent of the combat power to Operation Desert Storm.  We look forward to this multi-agency effort educating the public as this memorial travels across the state,” said Secretary Cornell Wilson, NC Department of Military & Veterans Affairs.

In addition, the exhibit recognizes numerous units from North Carolina that played important roles in the Persian Gulf War. These range from Fort Bragg to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, along with several National Guard and Reserve facilities. The exhibit’s final panel, titled “The Cost of War,” acknowledges 17 service members from North Carolina who gave the ultimate sacrifice.  

The First Full Gulf War will travel to many Tar Heel sites in a repurposed and customized Chevrolet Suburban from the N.C. Department of Transportation. The vehicle is painted to match the ones used during the liberation of Kuwait. Location stops for the traveling exhibit will be at the N.C. National Guard Joint Forces Headquarters in Raleigh, Fayetteville Technical Community College and many other sites.

The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources and the N.C. Department of Military and Veterans Affairs express our gratitude to the N.C. Persian Gulf War Memorial Commission and the N.C. Desert Storm Memorial Foundation for their instrumental role in the creation of this memorial exhibit.

About the N.C. Museum of History
The N.C. Museum of History is located at 5 E. Edenton Street in downtown Raleigh. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. The museum collects and preserves artifacts of North Carolina history and educates the public on the history of the state and the nation through exhibits and educational programs. Each year more than 300,000 people visit the museum to see some of the 150,000 artifacts in the museum collection. The Museum of History, within the Division of State History Museums, is part of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

For information about the N.C. Museum of History, a Smithsonian-affiliated museum, call 919-807-7900 or go to or follow on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ or YouTube.

About the N.C. Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
Under the leadership of Secretary Cornell Wilson, the new Department of Military and Veterans Affairs will focus on protecting North Carolina’s military installations, working with the communities around military bases, helping military families and veterans get the support and services they need, and helping connect veterans with jobs. Cornell Wilson has served under Governor McCrory as Military Affairs Advisor since October 2013. A retired Marine Corps Major General,  he last served as the Commanding General of U.S. Marine Forces Southern Command in Miami, Fl. and the Deputy Commanding General of Marine Forces Command in Norfolk, Va.

For the military and veterans, the governor has initiated in-state tuition for veterans, veterans driver’s licenses, veterans treatment courts, and counting military experience for becoming things like commercial driver’s or police officers. The governor cited the newly created departments as a way to build on this progress. To learn more about the N.C. Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, visit