Freedom Fighters: Paul Cicero - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Freedom Fighters: Paul Cicero

CHAPEL HILL, TX (KLTV) -

Paul Cicero wanted to fly as far back has he can remember.

"I was raised in Houston and I'd listen to the air traffic controllers and the aircraft landing, fall asleep listening to that," says Cicero.

By the time Cicero was in high school, he was hanging around airplanes as often as possible.

"During high school, I went to a small airfield and I washed airplanes after mechanics worked on them and so I always wanted to be involved in aviation," says Cicero.

So in July of 1985, Cicero joined the Airforce. Three years later, he was sent to England and two years after that he arrived in Saudi Arabia with its 130-degree temperatures and its sand...lots of sand.

"It was sand almost like talcum powder," says Cicero. Sand so fine it would eventually seep into everything.

"That was the beginning of the air war," says Cicero.

On the morning of Jan. 18, 1991, Allied Forces began the first phase of Desert Storm, also known as Desert Shield, attacking Iraqi border radar stations, communication and power stations.

"We threw everything we had at them," says Cicero.

Because Cicero had been in Saudi over a hundred days, he was one of the first to be able to return home.

"When I deployed my wife was pregnant so my son was born and I hadn't seen him," says Cicero.

Paul Cicero was honorably discharged from the Air Force in 1991, he now serves as Secretary-Treasurer of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association.

"We raise funds for veterans. Our motto is 'vets helping vets,'" says Cicero.

Copyright 2017 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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