This date always sneaks up on me and hits me hard!!! This year it seems to hit a little harder with David being deployed on his second tour of OIF. I remember 9/11/01. We had been married only 3 months and were stationed at RAF Lakenheath in England. We were new to the Air Force way of life. I had just gotten a job at a bank on base and was away for a week long training at a Navy base (I think) outside of London. We were through with our training for the day and were outside waiting on our taxi to pick us up and take us back to the hotel. The taxi never came, but eventually a SP drove up to us and said he would take us to our taxi. We were confused and said ok. The SP looked at us with a blank look and figured out that we had no clue what events were unfolding during that very minute. He told us that a plane had hit the WTC in NYC. We looked at each other and were quiet and in shock. We weren't sure how to take it in, but we knew that our lives as military spouses would never be the same. We got back to our hotel and were glued to BBC.
Every British person in that hotel would come and sit with us and watch the news. They would ask if we knew anyone in NYC. None of us had family in NYC. Thank heavens!! None of us were able to get a hold of our husbands. They were on lockdown at work and could not call us, nor could we call them. Later that night, David was able to call me and say that he would be picking me up in the morning and then he would have to get back to work. I could sense the seriousness in his voice.
The next morning everything sunk in as we drove by the base. Media was camped out and the base was at the highest threatcon. I was really reconsidering this whole military way of life. I was glad to be home. We did not have cable at that time and this was for the best. It was a few days before nonessential personnel were allowed back on base and I could return back to work. However, the way of life on a military base was never the same. I remember receiving mail that was believed to contain anthrax. I remember a stow away on a lourie (18 wheeler truck) and he was believed to be a terrorist trying to get on base. It was a false alarm, but scary all the same. I remember we had a night planned of going out to eat dinner with friends, but David was called into work on top secret assignment. I remember everything all too well.
Almost two years later, our daily lives were still impacted by 9/11 when Tyler was born on March 17, 2003. This day may not seem to significant when it comes to 9/11, but this was the day that President George W. Bush gave Sadem Hussein (I am not wasting my time to look up the spelling of his name.) 48 hours to get out of Iraq. I had just delivered Tyler as we watched the reports unfold. We knew what was coming. The day we left the hospital, war was declared. David had to go right back to work after I was released from the hospital. My parents were planning on flying out to meet their first grandchild, but for security reasons we decided it may not be the best time. Luckily, David did not deploy. We did go on a TDY in support of OIF to a nearby base to guard planes. Locals were jumping the fences and trying to vandalize the planes. David missed Tyler's first Easter during this TDY.
In September 2005, David deployed to Balad, Iraq in support of OIF. David is currently deployed to Kuwait 8 years after 9/11. I am very thankful that he has ONLY been deployed twice. If he had not been forced to cross-train, he would be gone every year with his old job at our last base. In fact, they just left this week for a 6 month tour.
September 11, 2001 will always play a large role in our life in the military. Please continue to pray for those families who lost loved ones in NYC, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C.
And PLEASE Remember all of our troops who are still fighting for our country. And to those soldiers, seamen, marines, and airmen who have paid the ULTIMATE SACRIFICE, GOD BLESS YOU and YOUR FAMILIES. I have not forgotten!