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Decatur Family Finally Makes It Home From Kuwait

August 24, 1990

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) _ A family who fled across the Kuwaiti border under the gunfire of Iraqi soldiers arrived home Friday, waving American flags and hugging relieved relatives.

Ray and Annette Shoopman, their daughter Kay Rashid and Mrs. Rashid’s two young children were welcomed with tears and hugs at Huntsville’s airport.

Shoopman, 52, who was in the oil business in the Middle East, said the family left behind all their belongings and escaped with only the clothes they were wearing.

After Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait Aug. 2, the family decided to make a run for the border when a Kuwaiti friend invited them to meet to take part in a convoy of cars.

Shoopman said the convoy took back roads along the Kuwaiti border. The cars were stopped at one point by an Iraqi patrol and told to turn around. He said they turned back, but took another route toward the border.

Mrs. Rashid said Iraqi patrols shot over the tops of the cars as they approached the border.

″Yes, we were scared, but we didn’t stop,″ she said. ″We knew if we stopped they had us - and we had come too far to stop.″

Mrs. Rashid’s husband, Adnan, escaped with the family from Kuwait but remained in Saudi Arabia to help other relatives escape from his native Kuwait.

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