Deployed and powerless

Date Submitted: 09/10/2014
Author Info: Brian (Mount Vernon, Wa - USA) 
Occupation: Government/Military
Lived in NY on 9.11.01?: No
Knew someone who perished?: No

It was about 10:30 or 11PM in Misawa Japan when I got a call in my barracks room. The night shift supervisor for my work center in my squadron called me verifying I was still on base and telling me to go straight into the hangar in the morning and not to be late. When I asked why his reply was “They hit the Pentagon and World Trade Center. Turn on the news.” then hung up. I did so and did not sleep the rest of the night. Needless to say I went in way early. The memory that will stay with me forever was the squadron maintenance meeting that morning, being the day shift supervisor I was in attendance. The maintenance control chief put out some generic information “all facilities on base except for galley (well mess hall, it was an Air Force base) and medical were closed, all aircraft were to be hangared, keep watch for unauthorized personnel on the flight line, be ready to leave at any time, etc. After that the entire room was silent, for a good five or ten minutes nobody said anything. Then an individual who we all knew was quiet and sort of an odd ball finally spoke up. He said “I wonder if this is how we felt after the Pearl Harbor attacks?” It was extremely emotional, we all wanted to do something. It is hard to describe what it is like to be active duty, sitting on a squadron of American war planes, and still being powerless.


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