William Franklin Hook

Desert Storm Diary

Desert Storm Diary is a window looking in on a point-of-view belonging to the commander of North Dakota's 311th Evacuation Hospital. He tells a story about a war that most Americans living today will remember well.

A Note to the Reader...

Desert Storm Diary: Including the Ten Commandments of Muslim Diplomacy is an insightful account of the first Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm), as witnessed by a reserve officer from North Dakota. Carefully detailed with entries from Colonel Franklin Hook’s wartime diary, Desert Storm Diary captures the experiences of this physician and Army reservist called up to active duty and charged with command of the 311th Evacuation Hospital. Colonel Hook’s riveting report includes caring for patients in a combat zone and flying Med Evac missions, while also navigating problems with higher headquarters and negotiating with Arab Muslim Civilians.

Desert Storm Diary documents the chronology of the war, including its major battles, its leaders, and its countless heroes, including an alphabetical roster of the 311th Evacuation Hospital. Desert Storm Diary also captures a story beyond military history, as it unfolds as a family memoir recounting the Gulf War experiences of Colonel Hook’s two sons, Bill and Paul, both deployed overseas at the same time and serving as a B-52 pilot and an MI AI Abrams tank platoon commander, respectively.

Bill and Paul’s stories are featured as father-son interviews, and Colonel Hook captures the spirit of a father’s simultaneous pride and concern as he documents Bill’s role in the last B-52 mission over Baghdad and describes his own angst over hearing a servicemen from North Dakota was missing after a B-52 bombing run. Colonel Hook’s memoir closes with an epilogue of informative perspective, “Reflections & the Ten Commandments of Muslim Diplomacy.”

Referring to diary entries penned across the delicate months between the summer of 1990 and early 1991—pivoting on the Operation Desert Storm experience that landed him in the midst of a Middle Eastern conflict—Colonel Franklin Hook reflects that his diary “tells a story of anxiety, emotional trauma, and war, the latter often described by combat veterans as weeks of boredom interspersed with a few moments of stark terror.”

Embedded in the ink of Hook’s narrative is every fret and fear that befalls life as an American citizen, a soldier, a friend, a physician, a husband, and a father… all at once, in the uncertain times of war. The “anxiety,” the “trauma,” and the “terror” of the text are all genuine, because Desert Storm Diary tells the real story of the encounter in the Gulf War from the perspective of active servicemen in the U.N.’s Coalition Force./

His story encourages the reader to reexamine previous judgments and opinions on the subject of war, considering the reality of another, much closer, perspective.