Twelve years ago yesterday I stepped into the Lansing Military Entrance Processing Center (MEPS) and began my journey in the military. Shortly thereafter I enlisted in the Army.
Eleven years ago I was an Army Reservist working part time at Sears and attending Delta College in Saginaw, MI. I woke up that morning to find that terrorists had hijacked four planes. Two of the planes were used to attack the World Trade Center in New York, NY destroying both towers. One more had slammed into the Pentagon in Washington DC. The final plane had crashed in a field in Pennsylvania after the passengers had displayed extreme bravery and fought to regain control of the plane from the hijackers.
I spent the night of 9-11-2001 working at the Reserve Center in Bay City, MI answering phone calls and wondering what our nations response was going to be to this heinous act. My friends and comrades in the military and I were all ready to defend our nations honor just the same way that our fathers and grandfathers had in 1941. We firmly believed, then and now, that an attack on our nation must be answered swiftly and surely.
In February 2003, I became a part of that response as I was activated to deploy to Turkey to form part of the invasion in Iraq. Turkey however did not agree to that plan, so I and my company were stood down. I was reactivated again in December 2001 and did deploy to Iraq. I have not written much about my experiences in Iraq and Kuwait. Some things are still just to vivid and painful even after 8 years. I promise that I will write about it someday.
Today, however, I pause to reflect on where I am now and where we are as a nation. I am proud to know that in any time of disaster whether it be hurricane, flood or terrorist attack, Americans will always band together and help each other. That is what makes us great. I am proud to be a Veteran of the United States Military. I am proud of my brothers and sisters in arms, may God protect and keep you all safe. I am proud to be an American Citizen, the United States of America is still the only country I want to call home.