Friday, September 11, 2009

My 9/11/01

I just wanted to share what happened to me on 9/11 & how that day changed my life. Let me preface this by saying that in 2001 I was still living with my parents, broke & I didn't have a job & I was 23 years old.

I was planning on spending the day of 9/11 doing the usual, sleeping until the afternoon, wake up & hang out on the block & get drunk. My future wife was in Shreveport staying with friends because I didn't have a means of supporting her & her son. Earlier in the year I went through a terrible breakup & in my anger & heartbreak I enlisted in the Army. The only problem was I failed a drug test because in what I thought would be my last time hanging out with my friends I indulged in a blunt or two which caused my Army enlistment to get pushed back by a few months.

My mother (RIP) came home from work early & opened my door & told me to turn the TV on because Saddam Hussein had sent some terrorists to attack the WTC. In my disbelief I turned the TV & saw the constant repeat of the first tower getting hit & the announcers still not knowing if it was an accident or not. I sat up & told my mom that Saddam doesn't have the nuts to pull something like that. In less than an hour the second tower was hit. "We are under attack, this was on purpose" the anchor announced. I sat motionless for over 2 hours, literally in a state of shock.

I was in shock becuase my mother seemed to know what was up before the media did. When I snapped to I realized that I had more to worry about. I just enlisted in the Army & now I'm seriously reconsidering my decision. Due to my failed drug test I no longer had a contract & was now not obligated to join. Like just about everybody else in the first few hours I was thinking the world was coming to an end. Suddenly I thought about my then future wife, so I got on the phone & called her but the phone lines were jammed.

I spent the day glued in front the TV like every other American waiting to hear from the president. No one knew where that moron was at until my phone rung. My wife called from Shreveport & told me her mom called & was begging her to return to Hawaii & that the entire city was getting shutdown cuz the president had landed Air Force One there. I asked if she was ok which she was then we talked about our possible future together which seemed now to be in limbo. She made up her mind to go back to Hawaii. When she asked me if I was still joining the Army I told her that I didn't know. We talked for several hours until nothing else could be said. By this time the media just found out that Bush was in Shreveport but he had left.

After a few phone calls from various family members, I hit the block to see what the hood thought. At about this time it was pretty much established that Bin Laden was involved but as any hood cat will tell you they have their own opinions. I had to hear them. Some believed it was Bin Laden, others said the government, but everybody agreed on one thing: WE MUST KILL SOMEBODY!!

I went home at about the time Bush was addressing the nation. It was one of the few times I saw my entire family sitting around the TV. We talked about the events of the day when my mother asked me "So I guess you're not joining the Army now?".

I spent a majority of my day debating this. I'm sitting on my ass getting high & drunk living the life of a "scrub". I had a failed engagement that I wasted 6 years on & was on the verge of losing another one. I was a college dropout working bullshit jobs & I had been arrested twice in a year. Yet I'm faced with a decision that could make my life better but at the same time put my life at risk. It's September 11th 2001 and my country had been attacked. There is no doubt that we are going to war. What am I to do?

After answering "I don't know" my dad pointed something out. "You were supposed to leave this month weren't you?" I went to my room to look up my first enlistment paperwork & there it was:


Shocked, I showed this to my parents. My mother broke into song: "God is trying to tell you something". Indeed. The rest is history.