On the night of September 10th 2001 my mind was as far from war and terror as it could be. I was much more interested in the MLB Pennant Race than I was anything going on in the world, after all the only issues we faced were occasional, if deadly terrorist attacks on foreign installations and deployed ships like the USS Cole. But as to the security of the Continental United States, or as it has been referred to since 9-11 as “the Homeland” I wasn’t concerned. Somehow, despite my knowledge, understanding and study of terrorist groups I just never thought anyone could pull off an attack of this magnitude. The next morning I discovered just how wrong I was as the first reports came in while I was on my way to a late PT session at Camp LeJeune North Carolina where I was serving with the Second Marine Division.
That day changed all of our lives and ushered in what is now 13 years of war which has cost the United States military almost 60,000 casualties including nearly 7,000 dead or died of wounds. Of course that does not count non-DOD agency casualties, or those of the contractors who have been a big part of the war effort.
Today I was in Washington DC participating in the Military Officers Association of America “Warrior-Family” Symposium, which was an effort to bring together DOD, VA and the private sector to pool ideas, share best practices and attempt to make the connections that we need to serve and care for our military personnel and their families. It was a very good day and I will report out on it in detail in the coming days. That being said I was nervous my entire time in DC because of the approaching anniversary of the 9-11-2001 attacks as my hotel, and the facility where the symposium were conducted were both just three blocks from the White House. Needless to say with the anniversary occurring tomorrow I am glad to be home.
This evening I watched as President Obama addressed the nation regarding the military and diplomatic actions that he is taking against the Islamic State, also known and ISIS or ISIL. Whether we wanted it to or not the war which began on 9-11, which was so stupidly expanded into Iraq by the Bush Administration, opening the door to Al Qaeda Iraq and now the Islamic State, and which greatly strengthened Iran by eliminating their worst enemy, Saddam Hussein have made our task most difficult.
Thirteen years after 9-11-2001 we are not only still at war, but it is becoming a war without end.
Thirteen years ago, I figured that after a few months Al Qaeda would be no more, and the war that they had unleashed upon us would be over. however I was wrong .
Have a good night, until tomorrow,