Editor Paula Skaggs email@example.com
11:10 am on Monday, May 2, 2011
...I spent much of the next 5 years patroling the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf aboard an aircraft carrier. Those weeks and months at sea could become bleak and uneventful and I would often pine for home. Though, whenever I missed my family and friends too much, all I had to do was remember watching those towers fall on live TV to bring back those feelings of pride and service. Those feelings, I still maintain, 5 years after leaving the Navy.
After joining the Navy in early 2001, I was sent to my first training command in South Carolina that March. On the morning of September 11th, a group of sailors and I were receiving training when we received an initial report that a plane had crashed into a building in New York. Someone switched the television to CNN and we watched in amazement as thick smoke billowed from the first tower. As we watched, a small shiny object, which proved to be the second plane, crashed into the second tower. I had never before, nor would again in my 6 years of service, hear a roomful of sailors be as silent as we were on that morning. Some left the room immediately while others were glued to the television, as we watched the day's grim events unfold.
Walking around the campus of the Naval Nuclear Powered Training Command on that day, what I remember the most was the quiet; each sailor reflecting on the event's meaning. All of us there had joined the military in a time of relative peace and now knew that we would be called upon to perform our sworn duty: to protect America. I recall a sensation of pride, that I would truly have the opportunity to make a difference...
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Chi-an Chang, Paula Skaggs, and Stan Golovchuk,
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