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Happy 9-11? That Time 9-11 Stopped Being Just My Birthday

Joe Biden 9-11 Speech

There was a time when September 11 was significant only to those few of us select humans who were just a twinkle in the eyes of our parents the previous Christmas season.

That all ended one day. We all know when. The memory is burned into many of our minds where we were that day. If our memory failed, the news media would be sure to remind us a few times each year.

My oldest daughter’s mom and I recently moved back from England after wrapping up our respective Active-Duty tours in the US Air Force.

She was pregnant with my oldest daughter. I turned 25 that morning, and I had no idea how I would support my not-yet-born daughter and her mom.

I remember getting a call from a relative to turn on the TV to see replays of one aircraft slamming into one of the twin towers at the World Trade Center in New York City.

Then the second hit. Many including myself stared into TVs across the country like a deer staring at headlights of an ongoing car.

For you city slickers, deer are wild animals that look like small horses with antlers.

The rest of the day was the worst birthday, ever. And for good reason. We all watched on as nearly 3,000 people were crushed, burned up, or fell to their death.

Birthdays for us few 9-11 kids have never been the same.

I spent the next decade listening to liquor store clerks grimace when asking me for my birthdate when buying beer.

I spent the next two decades watching our leaders tell us what great progress we were making in Afghanistan. And, in the past few years, I’ve had the honor of representing veterans permanently injured in combat.

Thinking back now on the past twenty years, with the collapse of Afghanistan, it has caused me to think of those years as bookends.

Either way, I had a pretty good two decades with some ups and some downs.

I became a dad three times over.

I was divorced and remarried.

I went to school and became an attorney using VA benefits.

I watched my first wife gradually die from cancer, and I watched our daughter grow.

I started this blog and the largest Facebook group online for veterans in Veteran Readiness & Employment. My career centers around helping veterans and the public better understand the Department of Veterans Affairs while coping with its inevitable shortcomings.

I aged from 25 to 45.

My red beard is now gray, and my once fit physique is now, well, a dad bod.

And, throughout each year, I watched our country evolve in many ways on the back of the 9-11 memories as our country began its tireless pursuit of safety and security at the expense of other options.

As of late, we’ve been spending time getting acquainted with ‘gentleman’ farming. Pandemic parenting. Getting back to God. All thanks to the current situation.

I hope my next twenty years are less eventful than the past twenty, but I somehow doubt it.

Here I am.

Where are you on this 9-11, emotionally, spiritually, and everything in between?

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16 thoughts on “Happy 9-11? That Time 9-11 Stopped Being Just My Birthday”

  1. Is anybody else fed up with DVA making the application to get the travel pay Congress authorized disabled vets to get so miserably complicated and impossible? What else motivates that besides they want the money for other things?

  2. I can’t believe some of you commenters used this forum to be political! Instead of telling everyone what you were doing or what your thoughts were on 9/11/201. Instead, you decided to use this forum to throw insults at the previous administration.
    How about this;
    I blame the current administration for not following the “DOHA” treaty. Many of our allies AND enemies signed this document “…to allow every nation to withdraw their military and civilian employees with dignity”! Something this administration did not do. Now ALL of our allies are angry at us. And our enemies know our weaknesses!
    Thanks a lot Biden!
    There’s more! Here’s just one!
    The last act committed by biden was a drone strike on an alleged Isis house. Which turned out to be afgan civilians with children! That, people, can be viewed as a crime!

    1. Final Drone Strike of Afghanistan War Killed Aid Worker

      September 13, 2021 at 10:39 am EDT By Taegan Goddard 133 Comments

      The final act of the U.S. war in Afghanistan was a drone strike in Kabul that killed 10 people, but the New York Times discovered that a man the military saw as an “imminent threat” and “ISIS facilitator” was actually an aid worker returning to his family.

      ****
      Joe outdid himself with that one. Why did General Milley lie so much about it?

    2. FACT: trump (idiot) did not lay out a plan for withdrawal(!) as part of the agreement.

      FACT: Biden was restricted to following the agreement or the taliban would have attacked us while leaving. They watched very closely our every move.

      FACT: trump signed the agreement in February 2020 so he had plenty of time to start taking us out . . . safely. One year and 6 months to be exact! One full year under trump’s tenure as IDIOT IN CHIEF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      FACT: trump SEVERELY restricted anyone other than united states citizens from leaving with us.

      FACT: it was the Israelis who gave us the intel on the last drone attack. So, they are the ones who MUST be burdened with that fiasco.

      FACT: part of the DOHA was for the taliban to denounce al-Qaida. They embraced them wholeheartedly which violated the treaty.

      The list is very long.

  3. Do away with the IRS and MOST of GOVERNMENT? He’s got my vote. I was drafted into the military in 1969. Since It was near certain that I would returning home in a body bag, In asked God to help me to do my absolute best in Jesus name and by my 5th month I was promoted to an NCO rank followed by Platoon Leader. When I got to Vietnam I was the new guy and while waiting for my MOS
    opening I had the “privyledge to perfected the finer points of high efficiency fast and nearly smoke and odor free Shit Burning (SB). SActerva few days I was given the honor of teaching about 100 disciples the techniques and how to teach thier own disciples. I was also given the honor of writing the SB section of Field Manual on Latrine Duty.
    By the end of my 2 – 6 month tours of duty I had developed and experienced many useful, exciting and dangerous accomplishments, was injured to a 100% grade of disability yet was instead of being sent home and discharged was, “latterally promoted”, to the assignment of Combat Flight Controller in the 101st AB Divisions Tactical Operations Center DTOC aka War Room. With special recognition by a Lt. General who was very impressed by my skill as a CFC.
    I returned home with 2 Bronze Stars the second with the Oak Leaf Cluster, alive, disabled but am now 72 and still kicking.
    If more people followed Jesus rather than the money grubbing Anti-Christos’, the world would a much better and loving point of light in the Uni-Verse.

    IHL
    Dave

    1. Following and praying to Jesus while worshiping the cross and Mary (Jesus’ mother) are violations of the First Commandment.

      As for your story, we wanted to hear what you felt and went through on the day in question, 9-11-2001.

      BTW, hageman is a she. A real BITCH!!! Wealthy bitch so she suffers from a severe case of ‘Affluenza’.

      I follow the 11th Commandment along with the top ten.

  4. In 2001 a dear friend and I had moved up to a community in the Big Bear Valley at over 7000 ft. Elevation, in California. Though is was a very wonderful, quiet and peaceful forest environment, we soon discovered that a number of the homes there were occupied by people who didn’t own or rent them and some were entrepreneurs that specialized in the production of meth, crack and other marginal enterprises.
    On 9/10/01 I had put something in or taken something out of the storage area under the house and upon completion, I closed and locked the door shut.
    Early the next morning of 9/11/01 I was awakened by a Sshhwwoop?! sound. Knowing that I had closed and lock the storage area door I thought that maybe we and been burglarized and the wind had blown the door shut. I glanced at the clock radio and grabbed my 5 Iron and rushed out to confront the intruder, but the door was still locked shut and no sign of anyone around.
    With the adrenaline coursing through my veins, it was still too early to be up and making noise and breakfast, so I went back to bed to try to et some more sleep and turned on the clock radio for some soothing sleepy time music and to contemplate the source of the Sshhwwoop?! sound. But instead my sleepy time music station was broadcasting news of the 1st WTC tower being hit. I turned on the TV and the time reported of the 1st WTC impact in New York was precisely the moment of the Sshhwwoop?! sound that woke me in California.
    I came to the conclusion that the Sshhwwoop?! Sound had to have been the combined highest charged simultaneous instantaneous released of cries of emotion from those, oh so many souls.
    Then came the 2nd WTC tower hit.
    Later came both towers independently but miraculously fel into thier own footprints.
    Later still, Bldg. #7 having a horizontal configuration, had not been hit but had multiple fires from end to end. While the BBC news caster was reporting on building #7, having also collapsed but was still standing in the window behind her, then did in fact collapse, from end to end as if the entire building was on an elevator. This is called controlled demolition.
    The modern Center of World Trade; Babylon Has Fallen, Has Fallen

    1. WOW!!! You are consumed by the BULLSHIT they call ‘christianity’. I call the republicatholics or republichristians.

      Did you know that both hitler and mussolini were not only catholics but republicans?

      BTW, Jesus only saved the EVIL hebrews from the wrath of God for they offended Him greatly. He was going to destroy those He had saved from the Egyptians for what they had turned into. Evil rotten people who lied, cheated and stole from their neighbors. They defied God by telling all that they could do no wrong for they were the chosen ones. They thought they were Gods.

      Nuf sed.

  5. Damn.
    Just reading these comments is sending chills down my spine.
    It’s visceral.
    Makes me think that I’ve never dealt with what I felt on that day. It’s still stuck inside somewhere. Not cool. It’s like a mind numbing shock and it’s stored up deep somewhere.
    God bless everyone with wisdom and humility and caring for one another…

    1. I was on a plane from MSP to Dallas, connecting to Houston. Being an auto-upgrade road warrior, I was up front. The mood of the flight attendants changed and they stopped serving snacks and thirsties. Nobody said anything. Landed in Dallas. People were eerily quiet, but nobody said anything. I got on the tram to my other concourse/gates. A woman was crying. Odd. Walked toward my gate saw a line in front of a bar/lounge. Got there just in time for the rerun. Oh shit. Then I found out my flight to Houston was cancelled. Got a car, last one. Then an admiral sidled up to the counter, and said “I need to get to Norfolk”. I gave him my car.

      Hitchhiked to Houston by trolling outside the rental car lot. Brit couple headed to New Orleans and beyond. I bought lunch and gas. Colleagues picked me up in Houston, went to the office. Found out that the Enron Wind Project VP (Nicholas Humber RIP) who managed the details of the wind turbines we purchased for two small projects at Mill Run and Someset, PA was on the flight out of Boston, hit the tower. He would have been up front too. Finally got a rental car after a few days to drive back to MSP. The most polite freeway traffic I’d ever seen prior or since.

      Fast forward another week, I’m back in Somerset. The project site was only a few miles from the Shanksville site. My motel was full of FBI and some other thuggish goons with Jarhead necks and no manners who clearly intimidated the FBI dudes. Weird shit. Talked to some of the techs who were on 262′ towers when it happened. Nobody was saying a word other than, “I ain’t sayin nuthin”. Weird shit.

      Twenty years and $6.4 trillion later we have another generation of veterans wondering what the fuck. All I can say is, “sorry boys, welcome to the club.” You served your brothers well. Your country doesn’t deserve you, and your country is getting the leadership it deserves.

      I know, that’s a horseshit piece of reality. But the only thing that came out of those wars besides misery was some serious profits for some seriously evil people. And what are we the people doing about it? Mental and digital masterbating about crazy ass conspiracies and cancelling the fuck out of anyone who doesn’t subscribe to whatever gender or ethnic trigger du jour.

      Divided we are falling – fast.

  6. Having learned to be stoic in the military, 9/11 was forever referred to by my youngest child as “The Day That Mommy Cried”.

  7. Just got home from taking youngest daughter to school.

    Wife called from work and screamed, “TURN ON THE NEWS!”

    My stomach was very upset and my blood pressure went through the roof.

    5 years earlier I had retired from the military at age 40.

    My thoughts were, “Am I going to be called up because I am not 65 yet.”

    Now I am 65 and cursing trump for handing Afghanistan back to the very people who had attacked us giving them free range in the region of the middle east to terrorize not only their people but all the nations around them. Especially the young military kids that are close by and are now targets of the evil monsters.

    trump illegally made a deal with the taliban. He was required to get counsel from the United Nations before making any such deal. CRIMINAL trump!

    trump is endorsing liz cheney’s challenger hageman. Last night on the news they did an excerpt of hageman’s speech. She wants to do away with the IRS and nearly all government. idiot

    That is just as unsettling as the attacks on September 11, 2001.

    I live in wyoming and these people are just as evil as the taliban. republican(‘t)s or republichristians but moreso . . . republicatholics! which is far worse than the taliban.

  8. Watvhing TV that morning when, all of a sudden came BREAKING NEWS! The first trade center had already been hit and then the second one was hit.
    I ran next door to my neighbors House to see if they were aware of what was transpiring. They were as transfixed on their TV as I.
    My first thoughts were “We are now at war with someone!”
    In the coming days, it was apparent of the “WHO” we would be dealing with!

    20 years later and that group (Al-Qaeda) is having a new resurgence within the country the Taliban has reclaimed!

  9. I was working on a job site constructing an addition at a hospital. Having already served 13 years in the army, I was too divorced with 3 kids, working my ass off to be an ideal Dad.
    All the workers were running towards the job trailer with whispers that our country was under attack, airliners flying into buildings. I dropped the core drill and ran into the already crowded office trailer to see the horror. From that point my life took another turn. I got into my company truck, drove back to the office and said my goodbyes to everyone. Reenlistment was the only option.

  10. I was walking the bridge connecting 2 buildings at Pfizer. I was happy to have procured a new patent application to work on. A colleague came screaming down the hall that a plane hit one of the twin towers in NYC. We then all proceeded to the cafeteria to watch TV and what was unfolding. A second plane hit. My colleague was having a breakdown. You see, her brother was in that North Tower. His body was never recovered. My colleague never returned to work. A happy day evolved into panic and distress. Our lives were forever changed. I moved away within a few months to DC. Praying we never see this tragedy in our homeland again.

  11. 0. Family Travel: Me, Wife, young daughter and sonl DC to Honolulu?
    1. National Airport: Continental Air clerk said they were closed due to the first aircraft hit at the World Trade Center.
    2. Another Clerk came out to say that there was a second aircraft hit at the WTC. At that point, my conclusion was that we were at War.
    3. Another panicked clerk came out and said another plane just hit the Pentagon. Everyone out. Follow the police guidance.
    4. Tried to get our AVIS car back. No dice. Large explosion shook the parking structure.
    5. Walking into Crystal City with luggage, as directed. Enroute saw an F-16 fly over and thought. Wow! A combat air patrol over the National Capitol.
    6. We decided on the American Express Hotel in Crystal City. Convinced them that they were going to have tons of cancellations because the airport is closed.
    7. Saw all the TV images in the hotel bar.
    8. Got to our room, home for the next 5 days. Ate locally.
    9. Finally, some flights out of Dulles Airport. Got tickets at Continental in DC (via Metro).
    10. Went to Dulles for flight to Newark. Approach provided clear view of what was left of the WTC. Our flight went to Honolulu, via Denver.
    11. Honolulu looked pretty good during our approach to landing.

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