We weren't in New York, Pennsylvania or Washington, D.C. but our lives were forever altered on this day 10 years ago. We were and still are an Army Family. On this day 10 years ago we both wore the uniform of a U.S. Soldier. We had three boys who had no idea what life was going to be like from that point on. I recall sitting on my couch, nursing my then 3 month old son wondering what his world would be like. I look at my now 10 year old and am saddened by all the sacrifices that he has had to make in his short life. The sacrifice of a father not being home on special occasions such as birthdays or first days of school. Yes, his father is alive and for that I am grateful but there has been much sacrifice.
Since 2001, Kevin has reenlisted. He could have gotten out of the Army like I did and chosen another life for us. He could have said no, I won't make the sacrifice, he could have walked away. But he didn't. He knew what the aftermath of 9/11 could bring us and he still voluntarily raised his right hand, reenlisted and promised to continue to defend our nation. I supported him in that decision.
We have endured trials and tribulations, numerous separations, lots of worry and grief but we continue to serve as a Family. My boys only have memories of a life with war in it. It is in their face, it is a big part of their life. They are proud to say their Daddy is a Soldier and their Mommy is a Veteran. They proudly bear the title of Army BRAT but their life hasn't been simple.
We carry 9/11 in our minds and hearts every single day. We have reminders all around us...some physical and some emotional. We wear black memorial bracelets, Kevin wears a combat patch. Michael, Neil and Daniel can all name the holidays and special occasions that their dad has missed due to training or deployment. We fly an American Flag and remember what it symbolizes.
I can't even begin to imagine what the families of those who lost loved ones in the Twin Towers, Pentagon or a field in Pennsylvania feel like or how their lives have changed. I can't speak on that. I only know what it has been like for our Family, who made the choice willingly to continue to serve after that tragic day, to send our husband and father off to war so that there wouldn't be a repeat.
9/11..we'll never forget, for as long as Kevin wears the uniform of a U.S. Soldier, we are reminded daily of what must be done so that it never happens again.