Where was I on 9/11? I will never forget..I was deployed with the Enterprise Battle Group, and we were heading home to Norfolk. The Enterprise had just finished a tour in the Persian Gulf without any port of call save one half way through the tour. We had transited the Straights of Hormuz that day, and were steaming steadily towards Capetown, S.Africa for one last port of call before returning to Norfolk, VA.I woke up around 1600(4PM)to report for the night shift. The plan was to finish downloading the guns on the aircraft that night.
I walked into the berthing lounge and saw what was on CNN. I had a hard time believing it at first, thought it was movie. Once I realized it was real, the thought was where did this happen? Then I saw it was NY on the ticker running on the bottom of the screen… I knew right then that the probability of being home on time was getting very slim.The first thing that happened is we were ordered to return to the Arabian Sea and remain on station. That was the first clue that the deployment would be extended.The second clue was reloading the guns on the aircraft.Needles to say that night, we cycled from going home to going to war. Then we started conducting a very aggressive training routine.
Word came to us about a week before we were scheduled to be in Norfolk, that we would remain on station indefinately. The mood on the ship was more subdued than usual, most of the 5000 people on board were angry, angry but quiet, with the cool competence of professionals knowing we were going to finish a fight we didn’t want. Started by the same cowards who who planned a sneak attack on the very people we were charged to protect.
September 11 was a horrific day to all Americans, no matter where we were. I am glad that on October 7th, I was in the right place.