9/11 log

We’ve all got journeys in life.  Sometimes we sit down and refuse to play, but that just means your journey ends right there where your butt meets your desitny.  Other take detours they didn’t expect.  Sometimes paths change for 100 different reasons. 

Like most of you, 10 years ago today my path changed.  I was sitting in my cubicle, selling computers on the phone.  The folks on the other end were screaming when they answered–no idea why they answered in the first place.  That’s where I was when I heard.  

Next thing I know like whack-a-mole heads are popping up all over our cubicle farm.  Something was going on…a rumor here, a bit of info there…soon it was confirmed.  Two planes had hit the towers. 

I got up, took off my headset and told my boss Tony, “I have to go to my Army unit, they might need me.” 

I was the first one to arrive, I sat in my truck in disbelief as the first tower fell.  Then the second.  I wondered when the next plane would hit the Sears tower.  I didn’t leave my unit until the next day.  I knew my role in life had changed.  I was like a big goofy irresponsible kid before that.  Hell, for years after I was still like that.  My transition was slow…I still have fun, but it’s different now.  I fight it, but there’s an edge.  I resent that about our foe. 

I type here now in Afghanistan, working, helping, trying to help prevent tragedies like 9/11 from every happening again.  Since 9/11 I’ve spent 50+ months in either Afghanistan, Egypt or Iraq.  I’ve been through a place called CRC 6 times (more than anyone I know).  I’ve spent over a year in the US training for my seperate missions.   I’ve interviewed thousands of Iraqis getting to know them better than nearly everyone you might know.  I’ve read, crikey?  100 books on relevant topics.  I’ve missed my daughter growing up into a beautiful young lady-my heaviest cross.  I’ve had to skip weddings and divorces.  I left my youthful strong body somewhere in the desert. 

All of this because some dudes decided to start a war they could never win.  We had no idea where to find them, or much about Islam or Arabs in general.  We were pissed, we were united, we wanted action. 

Action has been awarded.  First hand knowledge…many bad, evil people; people that want to kill you and your babies have had their lights turned out since then.  It’s been rough on all of us.  The toll isn’t just US dead, it’s our allies in Spain, UK anywhere, where terrorism occurs.  Arms, legs, relationships, peace, too many things to list have been sacraficed since that day. 

There is lots to understand about why we are here (in A’stan) and why we are in Iraq.  The answers are complex and contradictory.  It’s important to remember the sacrafices.  Not just from 9/11, but each day after, for 10 years.  Even today, a bomb in Afghanistan injured Americans.  The fight continues, the sacrafices grow…the heart hardens.  Never forget.

14 thoughts on “9/11 log

  1. A wonderful look into a very misunderstood people and thier culture.We need more info like you have given us,and less killing,to achieve anything. KEEP WRITING THEM!! Keep them coming ,please. be safe brother..

  2. Hi, Pete: Am a high school friend of Virginia Cady and a retired Benicia teacher. Just read your blog and am so impressed with your good spirit in such an unpredictable location, I worked for Army Special Services in Germany during the early ’60’s and ran a Service Club for enlisted men, so I have a special place in my heart for servicemen. Thanks to you and all of the young men and women who put all their lives on hold for the rest of us back home. It’s a terrible sacrifice we ask of all of you. Am sending you another guardian angel, as I’m sure you already have one. Be ever alert and stay safe……patty

  3. Pete,
    Thanks for alerting me on what I would say is a very poignant, yet sobering and insightful blog. It’s hard to imagine what’s taking place in our world today. It is important to have a purpose. I believe your blog, if read, will give us a purpose. Keep your thoughts coming…they are important.

    Stay safe,
    John Galvan

    • I love it, John….remembering Pete and the RED tennis shoes at graduation…I’m sure those shoes have taken him a long way over these last many years. Good to hear you’re still around, too! Sue Mehl

  4. Pete,
    I would first like to thank you for the sacrifice you have made. I have two children that I have been able to bring up because of what you and many others have done over the past years. My family and I are looking forward to spending some time with you next time you are local….Be safe!
    Da Fuzz

  5. Pete,
    Thank You for sharing. It’s hard to believe what you encounter daily! Know that you are greatly appreciated! Look forward to seeing you home soon and please continue the blog
    Kristen

  6. Pete; Thanks for sharing, it is a good thing for us to be able to get into your head–even just a little….helps put things into a broader perspective….stay well and stay in touch…
    Sue Mehl

  7. Pete, sorry took so long to write. Great story and glad you are still doing well. Keep up the great work and I will endeavor to continue reading about your adventures. My life to changed all those years ago but we continue to fight on.

    Rich Tudor
    CSM (r)

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