Family remembers East Texan held hostage during Iraq war

Family remembers East Texan held hostage during Iraq war.

LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - 29 years ago, an invasion by Iraq on neighboring country Kuwait, drew America into the first Gulf War, a conflict that caught many American civilians, including East Texan’s, in its path.

One East Texas woman remembers that August of 1990 vividly.

She and her husband, an oil-field worker, were caught in Kuwait at the time, with him being taken hostage.

For Willie Carr, it's been 29 years since the event that made her look up to her husband Gary Carr as a hero.

“The people that were holding him kept saying, ‘when America bombs us, you’re going to die.’ And he said, ‘where do you think you’re going to be when the bombs drop?’” she said.

Shortly after Iraq invaded Kuwait, Saddam Hussein's regime detained hundreds of foreign nationals, including Americans, with intent to use them as bargaining chips.

“My dad was one of the first 10 Americans taken. He was held in three different locations, because they wanted to use them as human shields,” said Gary’s son Jarred Carr.

Both living in Kuwait, Gary, an oilfield worker, made a phone call before his capture.

"That phone call said get out of the country now," Willie says.

Willie escaped to Saudi Arabia.

While held in captivity, Gary remained defiant to his captors, reminding them of a wish he had.

“He said to one of his guards, 'I got one wish before I die. To see you die before I do,” Jarred says.

After four months captivity, Gary was released. He passed away six years ago, but Willie remembers what he did every day he was a hostage.

“Gary taught Bible study every day to the hostages he was with,” she says.

For Willie and her son, every August is a reminder of the true character of people when in a crisis.

"Gary was a stand-up guy. He was very tough," says Willie.

Gary was a navy veteran, and the Carr family says he actually went back to Kuwait to help put out the hundreds of oil-well fires that were set by Iraqi forces.

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