Across the Pond.

Date Submitted: 09/11/2010
Author Info: David (oshkosh - USA) 
Occupation: Government/Military
Lived in NY on 9.11.01?: No
Knew someone who perished?: No

I believe, as noted on the home page, that anyone that was awake and can remember 9/11 will remember almost every detail of that day.

For me my day started off as any normal day in Germany. I was an American soldier(mechanic) living south of Frankforth. On that day I was asked to go help a fellow mechanic at Rhein Main, Germany, which was on the opposite side of the runway for Frankfort International. While we were looking at the vehicles someone from the terminal came and got us to tell us a plane had hit the tower. I went inside and briefly watched the clip as at the time I thought it was just an accident.

I went outside to return to my duties and was again summoned about another plane. I again when it and watched the news clip and saw the other attacks. I was not at my home station I grapped my belongings and got in the military van that I had. As most know Germany has very limited speed limits one highway so in a caravan I made the 30 minute journey home. I was cloking over 120 MPH to get back and needed to get gas at another side of town before going back to my unit which tacked on about another 15 minutes. When I fianlly made it back it had taken me less then 30 minutes. As I was pulling into my military post they were locking the gates. All of American Posts in germany were now on lockdown. This was sometime around 4 PM local. I contacted my German girlfriend (wife) that I would not be home and did not know when.

Everything changed that day for us soldiers in Germany. Our mission in Germany was no longer to do our jobs but instead acts as security for our families and ourselves. The officers at the time made great plans for how we were going to provided security. When everyone had their new orders and what shifts and locations they were going to work it was around midnight. For myself I had to be back in the morning for my shift. So I went home and do not recall getting much sleep. For over 6 months our new mission prevented us from dedicating us to our primarly jobs causing longer working hours. Other negative factor was that military housing areas that were open so German friends could come and go were not fenced in and everyone was checked in. It was like taking a 20 block neighborhood and allowing people two places to come and go. For children this was more of an issue that they could not take so called short cuts anymore.

While I was not affected by the loss of someone during that time my fellow soldiers and I lost a part of freedom in Germany that we had come to take for granted.

God Bless America.


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