Navy Seabee Bobby Martinez is home for the holidays after three months in the Middle East, "just kicking back" and hoping the Persian Gulf crisis is over before he has to go back.
"If it isn't over by next July, we've got to go back" to support Operation Desert Shield and face possible war, said the 20-year-old petty officer third class, who returned to his Layton home Friday.He doesn't know whether the multinational force will be forced to attack the Iraqi Army, which invaded and occupied Kuwait Aug. 2.
But he said he believes Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein should order his troops out soon.
"It's a shame what happened to (Kuwait)," he said. "I think Saddam Hussein is crazy, that's what he is.
"Hopefully he'll get some sense soon," he said. "There's going to be pretty heavy casualties" if the two sides end up fighting.
Martinez's 600-member Navy construction battalion left its base in Puerto Rico and has spent the past 90 days expanding a Saudi Arabian air base.
The Seabees have been installing bunkers and a communications headquarters, and building temporary housing for U.S. Marines in the gulf military buildup.
"It wasn't fun and games," Martinez said. "At the end there we were working every day. We had some footballs and volleyballs, but it's real hot over there so we'd have to do them in the mornings."
Martinez follows his father and two older brothers into military service. His father, John, served on a Navy submarine. His older brother, Tony, is out of the service after four years in the Army.
Another brother, John, still is in the U.S. Coast Guard. He also has a younger brother, Bill, a high school junior, and a 15-year-old sister, Sunshine.