September 11th was like a rock being dropped into a pond of my life. It started out a big event that happened, but the ripple that started changed my life completely. For so many people the effects of September 11th were felt right away as people lost family and friends on that day. Our military was altered as they went from training for a mission to fighting a mission.
Before September 11th I was just a normal girl going to high school with no plans or ambitions for my life. My dad was a gardner who owned his own business. My sister and I would regularly help him mow yards, rake leaves and whatever random task was required. It was really the only job I had ever known besides babysitting and those few weeks of summer I spent working at Krispy Kreme.
A Lack of Ambition
My idea of working was very small and didn’t sound like fun. Growing up I had wanted to be a doctor, but as school continued on and I learned about the years of school required I somehow lost my drive and direction to make that dream happen.
My senior year had just begun, and I had no idea what was coming next. And then September 11th happened, and everything started to change. I had planned to run cross country at a small school about an hour north of my parents. But as the year went on that didn’t pan out and eventually, I decided to go to the local community college. It was there I met new friends. One was joining the Air Force, another enlisting into the Navy and another doing some strange officer program.
Looking into the Military
I decided to look into enlisting in the Air National Guard. My dad knew someone who worked there and thought it might be a good fit for me. And I was full speed ahead toward enlisting until one day my friend who was doing the officer program and I went to lunch. And he told me a little about what he was doing and how it was different than enlisting.
It sounded like it might be a better fit for me. So off I went to the open house to learn more about this Reserve Officer Training Program (ROTC). The open house was all I needed to know to tell me this was the place for me. I happened to talk to a cadet who recommended I switch from Math to Engineering as my major, so I did. He recommended looking into Civil Engineering, so I did.
One year later I was completing my general course-work and transferred to the University where my ROTC classes took place. My degree was now Civil Engineering. With Statics and Dynamics completed while learning how to do all the military
September 11th to Comissioning
I commissioned in 2007. Married to my husband and ready to start the Air Force adventure. I know that September 11th happened in 2001 and I didn’t commission until 2007, but truly that day is when everything changed.
Before September 11th, I don’t think I could have told you anything about the military. My family wasn’t connected to the military. There was an Air Guard Base in our town, but I don’t even remember the jets flying overhead until after that day.
Some things that happen just pull you in and change your life. You will never be the same. For me, September 11th is a day that I stop to remember how much change that day had on my life. Everyone has a story of what that day means to them. I would love to hear yours in the comments.