Just another duty day in the military until…

Date Submitted: 09/10/2011
Author Info: Sue (Waupaca, WI - USA) 
Occupation: Government/Military
Lived in NY on 9.11.01?: No
Knew someone who perished?: No

I was an airman in the United States Air Force on September, 11 2001. It started out as just another duty day at my military base in Oklahoma. It was actually my day off and I was catching up on a little extra sleep when I was repeatedly awaken to my co-workers announcements over the Giant Voice system. I couldn’t quite make out the message and figured it was another base exercise so I wasn’t very concern..maybe even a little annoyed. After the fourth announcement I started to get a little concerned as I had been through a few execises during my time in the military and this seemed out of the ordinary; and I wasn’t hearing the typical “EXERCISE, EXERCISE, EXERCISE” announced prior to and following the messages. I listened closely and the message was serious. Was the base really in Threatcon Delta?? Why? What was going on? I went to the computer lab and saw an MSN headline announce that a plane had crashed into one of the world trade centers in New York. I was shocked. I went to the day room and turned on the TV. Every news channel was covering the events. The second plane crashed into the other tower. It was then that I knew it wasn’t an accident. Non-essential personnel were dismissed from duty and began filing into the day room to watch the towers burn and then fall. We watched in shock, horror and anger. Those feeling soon turned to wonder and worry (especially from close family members) about what role we would soon be taking in this new “war on terror”. Through it all, we maintained a firm resolution to serve in whatever way we were needed. In the days after the events, members of our base were deployed both stateside and overseas. There were bomb threats and anthrax scares…added security measures were seen throughout the base. I added my name to a list of volunteers willing to deploy wherever/whenever needed. I was called upon to deploy for Operation Enduring Freedom 6 months after Sept 11. The deployment and the events that necessitated it defined my military service.


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