Sunday, September 11, 2011

A tribute and a story


I never know what to post on days like 9-11-11 or Veterans Day or Memorial Day or D-Day or Pearl Harbor Day because they're so personal to each of us in our own little ways. We, as Americans make them personal because these days, are our HERITAGE, our CULTURE, our Remembrance of events that took place. We've marked Holidays on Calendars to remind us of these events; like we could forget. Can we forget the images burned into our eyes as the plane hits or the second plane hits or the plane on it's belly in a field in Pennsylvania or the grandiose opening of the Pentagon?


I've never shared my story of how it related to my corner of the world and the impact it has on my life. The Marine and I were married for all *ALMOST* seven months when the terrorism came to our shores. I married a Marine in "peaceful times." We had been visiting my family in Ohio; everyone meeting the Marine, my husband for the FIRST TIME including my dad. There wasn't a soul in the family or church family that didn't like him, as always. But something told us to cut our trip short a day early even though we were all getting along and had no family issues. The Marine wanted to get back to have a day to rest before going back to work on the 12th. So, we left Ohio on the 10th and drove back down to North Carolina, through Pennsylvania, through Maryland/DC area, through Virginia, all those HOT zones that would become a WAR ZONE the following day. We now know that the 'something' that made us leave earlier, was definitely a GOD MOMENT.

I went back to work on the 11th. We watched the events unfold on a local cable channel, and when I went home on my lunch break, saw the Pentagon hit and the live coverage in color. Un.real. As I am sure most of yall remember.  Well, at that point, the Marine calls his Command, and etc.


Things changed all around us. Cars were inspected, American flags were sold out of all the warehouses, long lines to enter base, threat level magnified, re-enlistments galore (which the Marine had already decided upon re-enlisting prior to 9-11, he just had to wait until October 1st before he was able too). Bonuses were sliced since everyone was re-enlisting. We got new orders. We were sent off to a school in the desert region of California. Ten guesses you have heard of it if you've been around the Marine Corps. Ten Months later we received order to Massachusetts; the site where those planes originated. Every co-worker had their own story to share, a relation to the people on the plane, a story to make it more realistic.

Three months into living in Massachusetts, the Marine was deployed. Two years later, deployed again. (Because being stationed with a reserved unit even though he was/is Active Duty can only deploy every two years). And We move to North Carolina. Deployed again. Our first 8 years of marriage, the Marine was home less than HALF of them. That's how 9-11 changed us. The Marine has stories to tell in the recesses of his mind that does not come out too often. He's seen things normal people shouldn't have to see, ever. He's been blasted by IEDs, slept in Hussein's son's palaces, helped drain the lakes full of deceased people, and watched his best friend die,and that's just the "nice" stuff he will talk about. He does have video of an IED attack that shook him up. Shook as in Concussed and TBI'd from. An event he doesn't speak of, but I know haunts him as the side affects creep into our daily life. He's still the same person I married, just a little weathered; like those flags that hung around NYC and D.C..

We get through this each day because we are Americans, and that is what we do. We can get through this because God has blessed our lives with safety, freedom, and courage. We cannot forget, nor will forget. No one has forgotten Pearl Harbor, and I highly doubt we will ever forget 9-11, either. Afterall, it's officially Patriot Day. (not to be confused with Patriots day)...
Last Homecoming (so far) after the IED blast that RoCKED him.

How did this day change you?







2 comments:

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

Thank you for sharing your story and thank you for your husband's military service! We were stationed in Fort Campbell, Kentucky and my hubby flew for the 1-101st. So many changes after that day...

I am stopping by through Semper Wifey's Marine Birthday Bash. Would love for you to stop by my post: P.S.

Semper Wifey said...

I am so sorry I missed this post before. Thank you for sharing your story about 9-11. Y'all sound like such a strong couple to get through all of that together.

Thank you for joining in the Marine Birthday Bash! I hope you'll come back the rest of the week! :)

http://semperwifey.blogspot.com