Boot Camp on 9/11

Boot Camp on 9/11

I’ll never forget… being at recruit training when 9/11 occurred. We were all seated in a box inside the Thunderdome and that’s when the chaplain came out and delivered to us the events of that day. The first thing he said… was, you know, “recruits… …please understand, this is going to affect most of you.” I was a recruit at MCRD San Diego. Our drill instructor told us to circle it up around him. He took his cover off and
started talking to us in his regular voice. It was very ironic because we got
to the squad bay and everybody got on line, did what we typically do, and one of the drill instructors came out… calm, cool, collected nothing that we’ve seen like that
in the past two months of a recruit training. He said, “recruits, go ahead, pull out your foot lockers… go ahead and take a seat…write letters home and
you can talk quietly amongst yourselves. I remember looking around at the platoon
and everyone was kind of looking around at each other, trying to figure out, like, what was about to come next? We all thought this was a test. We thought, you know, they’re messing
with us…something’s going to come from this. And he told us that the United States was under attack on the east coast… and that we might want to pay
attention to what we’re learning here today because we may need it again
sometime in the near future. You could almost feel the breath taken out of the circle. We got no other information other than that. Later on that evening, our company
commander brought us all in and showed us video clippings on VHS tapes. “…that a plane has crashed into the World Trade Center…” “we don’t know anything
more than that…we don’t know…” As he was delivering what happened
that day, you could hear the sobs and some outright crying from some of the recruits… and when he asked, you know, who here has those
family members that might work in those areas I was taken aback by how many
recruits actually raised their hand including my own. Our path that we had initially joined
was going to be very different. When I joined it was peacetime… and then all of a sudden…now we’re in wartime. I’ll never forget making that phone call to my mother. The fear in her voice knowing of what the eventuality was going to be for me being a United States and now being at a time of war… The shake in her voice is something that I’ll never forget. One of the first things I did upon arrival back home was go to this little place that I liked to go as
a as a kid and it’s called Eagle Rock Reservation. I’ll never forget driving up there
and walking out to the pavilion that oversees the New York City skyline. And you look to the north of the city and you see the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building and you could make out the New Yorker… and then you look to the south and it’s just barren. Just seeing the gravity of the situation that happened that those two dominating towers with
all those innocent lives that that fell took me aback. As the sun set behind me, I remember
looking at the city and as those searchlights went on and see them just light up the sky. It sold me that I would be in this for the duration
as long as the Marine Corps would have me… that I was in this until the end.

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  2. As a Marine NCO at this time, it feels strange to see these men talking about being in boot camp when 911 happened because some of those men would go on to be led, trained and taken cate of by me. Now they are senior staff NCO’s. Time flies.

  3. I remember that day all too well, I am so glad you men were there when America needed you. I was a sickly little highschool girl, all I could do was pray that God would keep you all safe in his hand. God bless you for your faithfulness.

  4. I was at home and I had the tv on and it watch and I saw what happened I had sit down before I passed out then my heart felt heavy I started crying not for myself but for all innocent victims and their families I was praying that each everyone of them would found and safe
    I knew that was evil in this world I just did not realize how evil there was until this day
    Even eighteen years later I am still praying for those innocent victims and their families
    God Bless America

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