This day eight years ago, I was loading Humvees onto a KC-135 in preparation for air delivery to the National Training Center at Ft. Irwin (land at a field near by, off load, convoy to Ft. Irwin). Our ADVON team had already left, and we were nest part of the ADVON. 11SEP01 was to be a comp day for me for working so late into the night getting those trucks tied down to pallets on the aircraft. From 0700 until about 2000 we were on that air field.
We came home, and I was appointed driver to get our ADVON guys to the Soldiers Readiness Package processing area to get on that plane to fly with the trucks. I woke up at 0400 on 11SEP01 and drove our airmen over there and brought the van back. I sat in the office waiting to be released... Thats when the news hit. All our gear was loaded and on the way to Ft. Irwin. All except our battle rattle and carry-on items!
Right after the Pentagon got hit, I left the day room and locked the motor pool gate on my way to my equipment locker and replaced the canteen on my right side with a holster for my M-9 (you know, the good ol' TA-50 LBE). We went to the day room and watched as the towers collapsed. Our squadron commander looked at us, and told us to be ready for an early morning and that were dismissed for the day. This was about 1400 CST.
I never slept that day, until 12SEP01 early in morning, for an hour or so until we got the recall and showed up to work ready to roll. Luckily, for our unit, it would be business as usual. That meant once the skies were open again, off to the NTC for training. We were heavy armor at Ft. Riley, a round out brigade; no chance in hell of deploying to Afghanistan as a unit. At the time I didn't fully grasp that only the ETACs might deploy as augmentees.
I never regretted joining up. 11SEP2001 was what I joined to be prepared to face. Two conversations haunted me that day, and still to this day. The first a NJROTC event where my unit at Mesa Ridge High School provided an honor guard to a Pearl Harbor Ceremony at Memorial Park in Colorado Springs; a retired US Navy MCPO discussed the ramifications of an un-prepared country and that it would lead to another Pearl Harbor type event, this was in 1998 or so. The next was my Creative Writing teacher laughing at the notion that terrorists would attack the United States in 1999...
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