The day after 9/11 was one of filled with sadness, anger and patriotism. Waking up with the fear of leaving my daughter behind, to fulfill my duties as a soldier in the United States Army, proved to be a draining factor. Obviously, I was a soldier and I was required to report to my post. I am thankful that my mother was staying with us for a couple of weeks, and she was caring for my first-born.
Drove to work, and we started noticing a parade of distressed flags hanging from windows, and drawn into the vehicle’s windows. We made the short drive to encounter a sea of traffic entering the military base, they were conducting strict check ups on every vehicle entering the facility, Military Police was on point. Got to Salute them, they did an outstanding job those weeks after the tragic day.
I remember, that night, waking up in the middle of the night super scared. I was startled by a nightmare involving those airplanes and the loses of all those innocent lives. So, it is fair to say that I had a horrible night.
Back to work, we tried to be as normal as possible, but the darkness had invaded everyone’s soul. We had a pharmacist who was from somewhere in the middle east. A great guy, super smart and friendly, and our to go guy when we did not want to make the line to pick up prescriptions. Everyone kind of pushed him away, nobody wanted to talk to him, including me…there were other soldiers of the same nationality…and we began to feel horrible about them too. It’s very unfair and interesting at the same way, how your mind start playing tricks on you. I very damn well knew that those civilians and soldiers were as hurt as the rest of us. I finally came at peace when I accepted that those individuals were invaded in their own homes by terrorists just like all of us. After that, I was able to smile at them and to carry normal conversation. I could see the sign of relief in their faces when people started acting sort of normal towards them.
One of our co-workers lost her husband in the Pentagon, his remains were never found. They were together for a long time, married a long time ago, partners and friends…she was devastated,,,you could see her pain reflected in her skin, she was one my saddest moments…one of those memories that never fade.
It took a very long time for the MP’s to relax, I mean months and months. We kept seeing them coming to the clinic to get help, they were exhausted, mentally drained, and they still had a mission to carry. No one knows how much our soldiers did that day and the day after, and the month after, and years after…but they sure defended our Freedom, protected us, and if given a chance, they will do it all over again….It’s the best brotherhood I have ever been part off.