I joined the military after 9/11
It was my 20th birthday and I was getting ready to go to my college classes, in Mississippi, that morning. I had the radio on and heard about the attacks. Stunned, like everyone, I watched the news and then headed out for class. Once on campus, I remember a few friends and I just aimlessly walked around, unsure if we were to go about our day as normal. It felt like the whole world was crashing down.
I think because it was my birthday, I felt compelled to do something. I didn't know what but I felt I was physically and mentally fit to serve my country in some capacity. I had never once prior to this moment felt the urge to serve in the military. Shortly after the attacks, I went to the Army National Guard recruiter in my county and let him know I was interested. I did the physical and swore in on November 9 of that same year. I served for 8 years as a public affairs officer, having joined ROTC while at Mississippi State University. I deployed to Afghanistan during my final few years in the military and supported all media (western and Afghan) coming into the country.
Having served, I have a ton of pride in what our country can be. I am now a Girl Scout Troop Leader, bringing a lot of those skills and values (like courageous and leadership) to the girls in the troop. I am teaching my kids to take care of one another and value the freedoms we have. Once you've served, you seem to always find ways to continue to contribute to the greater good and I plan to as well.
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