A Salt Lake man is serving aboard the Navy ship that was the first to liberate Kuwaiti soil in the Persian Gulf war.

Jason T. Miller, 20, the son of Donald Johnson and Jeanette Miller, both of Salt Lake City, is a seaman aboard the guided-missile frigate USS Curtis. On Jan. 24, the Curtis was involved in an action during which American forces killed three Iraqi soldiers and captured 29 others.In that attack, the tiny Kuwaiti island of Qaruh was liberated.

The Curtis is also part of the fleet that has been enforcing the United Nations' embargo sanctions. Since arriving in the Middle East, it has intercepted more than 100 vessels.

Miller, a disbursing clerk, is one of more than 200 men aboard the Curtis.

"The biggest challenge for me is being away from loved ones and not knowing how long we'll be here . . . I'd like to tell everyone back home I'm doing fine. I never thought I would get the chance to defend my country, but here I am," Miller said.