Hometown Heroes - Joseph Ned

Desert Storm veteran
Published: Aug. 24, 2023 at 3:45 AM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Joseph Ned remembers the day he left to join the Navy. He was 25 and looking for a career, after the economy bottomed out here in the early 1980s. He did not let his mom or dad know what he was doing.

“I left. When I got to San Diego at the center, that’s when they gave me time to call home. Mom wasn’t happy. Mom was wanting me back that same day.”

But Joseph stayed and served two tours, including Operation Desert Storm, serving on board the USS Mt. Hood, an ammunitions ship. After bombarding Iraq from the Persian Gulf, they came home.

“That’s when they went to Iraqi Freedom on our way out. It was good. I’m just glad we didn’t get popped, because all the stuff we had on board, it wouldn’t have been nice.”

There were some tense moments at times, like when they came across a ship from the Soviet Union.

“It was a big old Russian ship that showed up. Where in the heck did he come from? Our captain got on the radio and told them they had a certain amount of time to veer left. Because our guns were pointed at him. So he scooted on.”

Ned says he’s still dealing with the effects of the war, like post traumatic stress disorder.