Dwayne Harris


Where were you when you first heard about or saw the 9/11 terrorist attacks?

I was stationed at Ft. Bragg, 503rd. Maintenance Company. I volunteered at the local fire station. I lived off post, so had to bring my uniform in and clean up and change at the gym on post after morning PT. Everyday, after cleaning up I ate in the dining facility on post, then drove to my shop, listening to the news. On 9/11, my routine changed. I did not listen to the news, I was just enjoying the morning. When I got to the shop, everybody was hovered around the radio. I was pretty upset because we had a lot of work to do. One of the soldiers said a plane hit the World Trade Center. I told him "planes do not fly around there." While I was listening, I heard a lady talking on the phone, live to the radio host. I heard the second plane hit. I was shocked, as everyone else was. After the news of the other two, I went over by myself, in the shop and got on my knees and prayed it would stop.

How did the events of that day shape your life and inspire your service to this country?

I was mentally preparing to go to war. My heart was broken, not only did I lose my brother and sister, I also lost brother and sister Veterans. My whole life was for that moment in time. I tried to go to Operation Desert Storm in 1991, but I was in high school. I felt like I had to give something back for the freedoms we enjoy. Now was my chance. Everyday in Iraq, I kept the memory of those lost in the front of my mind. It gave me the drive to do the best and give all I could over there. After coming home, my wife and I created a small non-profit Veterans group, that is still going strong. I committed my life to a life of service, until I am no longer able.

What are you excited to contribute to your community, however you define it, for the next 20 years?

I am reaching back, helping those that are struggling. I want to let people know they are NOT alone.