Southland Woman Among Scud Victims : Deaths: Moreno Valley soldier died in attack on Saudi Arabia barracks. Her father ruefully compares his 30-year military career to her brief and fatal tour of duty.
A Moreno Valley woman who joined the Army to pay for her education died when an Iraqi Scud missile struck her barracks in Saudi Arabia, her family said.
Adrienne Mitchell, 20, was one of 28 soldiers killed when the Scud scored a direct hit on the barracks in Dhahran on Monday. Another 100 troops were injured.
Her father, retired Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Frank Mitchell, ruefully compared his long tour of duty to the few months his daughter served.
“I did 30 years, 21 days, you know, and I didn’t get a scratch. My daughter’s been in for five months, and she’s dead,” Mitchell said Wednesday.
“Being in the military, you see a lot of death, you hear about a lot of death, and it helps you out because you know that’s what happens,” Mitchell said. “A good example is, when I pray at night, I don’t ask God why he took my daughter--or why he didn’t take someone else’s daughter. I ask him why he didn’t take me.”
Adrienne Mitchell signed up for the Army in the spring of 1990 under a deferred enlistment program.
“She just wanted to get out on her own--to finance her own education,” said her mother, Sammie.
The young soldier had worries about her deployment to Saudi Arabia when she called her parents for the last time two weeks ago. She feared her supply unit was not seasoned enough, and Frank Mitchell had his own reservations.
“I’m not a chauvinist, but I just don’t think women belong in combat zones,” he said.
Adrienne Mitchell participated in sports at Moreno Valley High School and worked throughout her high school years. Former teachers said Mitchell, who graduated in 1988, was “a good, quiet kid.”
“Adrienne was a beautiful, good kid,” said her father.