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Clifford Acree

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The Gulf Between Us : Love and Terror in Desert Storm
Cynthia B. Acree  More Info

Publisher’s Weekly said of The Gulf Between Us: Love and Terror in Desert Storm, “the Acrees, who trade short chapters in relating Cliff's captivity and its home-front repercussions, have a guileless authenticity. His Ov-10 shot down over southern Kuwait on the war's second day, Acree was captured by the Iraqis and held as a POW for 48 days in Baghdad, until all hostages were released as part of a cease-fire agreement. The book takes the Acrees day-by-day from Cliff's preparations as squadron leader for getting his planes and men from Camp Pendleton to the Middle East (with plenty of technical detail for buffs) to the desperation of Cindy (as she is referred to throughout) for information after his plane went missing, Cliff's brutal torture and unsuccessful coercion by his captors, and the efforts launched by the POW/MIA Liberty Alliance for Operation Desert Storm, spearheaded by Cindy, to draw attention to the plight of Gulf prisoners. Cliff describes the conditions of near-starvation and isolation he endured, along with savage beatings that left him with severe neck, nasal, digestive and heart problems (later addressed by a number of surgeries). The psychological stress he suffered as a POW left Cliff with long-term emotional problems, a second "gulf" that, the couple relates, has been mostly surmounted by the gradual improvement in his physical condition and the birth of the couple's first child. Beyond some--well-earned--posturing, this is a compelling tale.”

Colonel Clifford Acree, USMC, was taken prisoner of war during Desert Storm.  According to the POW Network, “Lt Col. Clifford Acree and Chief Warrant Officer Guy L. Hunter, Jr. were the crew of an OV10 Bronco in the Middle East when U.S. air forces were again called into action in January 1991. Acree was the pilot of the aircraft while Hunter was the observation officer. The two were assigned to Marine squadron VM02, of which Acree was the commander. Both had been stationed at Camp Pendleton, California, prior to being sent to the Persian Gulf. During the first wave of offensive strikes against Iraqi military targets, the aircraft was flying a reconnaissance mission was downed by a surface-to-air missile (SAM) and both Acree and Hunter were captured by Iraqi forces.

 

On March 6, 1991, Hunter and Acree were released by the Iraqis. Although the military personnel released have said very little publicly, some have stated that they were well-treated. Most of the POWs were held near an intelligence complex at Basra.”  Colonel Cliff Acree co-authored with his wife, Cynthia B. Acree, The Gulf Between Us: Love and Terror in Desert Storm.

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