Cindy Marie Beaudoin arrived at the University of Connecticut as a first-year student in September 1990. Just a month earlier, Iraq had invaded Kuwait. Cindy enrolled in the usual liberal arts courses, facing the terrors of college calculus and chemistry. On November 17, her life turned a corner. Cindy was also Specialist Beaudoin, a soldier in the 142nd Medical Company of the Connecticut National Guard. Her company was called up to active duty. Specialist Beaudoin, at age 19, was on her way to the war that waited in the Persian Gulf. Cindy withdrew from classes rather than opt to make up the work when she returned. "I probably won't remember half the stuff I've learned when I get back," she explained.
On Sunday, January 13, 1991, just four days before the war began, her unit left for Saudi Arabia. The 142nd moved forward behind advancing combat units when the ground war began on February 24. Specialist Beaudoin penned a two-line stanza on her helmet that read: "Look at this place that we have found. No one knows where we are bound."
Four days later, Iraq's army had been routed, and President Bush declared a cease-fire. The war was not over yet for Specialist Beaudoin. The 142nd's journey had taken it north from Saudi Arabia into Iraq and then east to just across the border into Kuwait. There, at about 3:00 P.M. on February 28, an explosion rocked the 142nd's convoy. "God-damn," trooper Beaudoin shouted as she tumbled from her truck; "They're firing at us." A moment later she realized that she had been hit. The cause of the blast is still uncertain. It hardly matters. Cindy Beaudoin's leg was gone; shrapnel had torn her abdomen. Three hours later she was in a medivac helicopter headed for the rear. It wasn't soon enough; Cindy died during the flight. There is, in war and death, a grim equality.
Hartford Courant, May 24, 1992.