Sunday, May 1, 2011

Where was I?

by 13 Stoploss



I was 20 years old when it happened. I worked at Disneyland and woke up to a phone from scheduling, something about work being closed today because of the terrorist thing. Something about Disneyland being a potential target.

I answered the phone from bed, groggy and half-asleep.

"The terrorist thing?"

"You haven't heard? Turn on the TV!"

I've never told this to anyone, but I was a student at Santa Ana Community College, enrolled in 10 units. My first schooling since dropping out of HS a year previous. I was taking classes at my own pace and classes that I wanted to take. But at the same time, work was cutting back hours. I was living with my girlfriend and another good friend from work, named Dan.

Dan had already left for work--he had the early shift. When I called, it went to his voicemail. He didn't come home that night and I was scared. Dan was the type to do something drunk and irrational and I had a sinking feeling that he'd join the Army or something...

The next day, Dan called me up and said that he's bringing the recruiter with him. Said he wanted to talk to us all.

Maybe I'll get into another time, but the short story is that I dropped out of college like I did in HS. I put in my notice at work, signed the dotted line, married my girlfriend, who also signed the dotted line, and then after some time and some training, I found myself in Kuwait, waiting for the invasion to begin.

That's how that happened and that's where I was when I found out...

This is me in Karbala, Iraq - March 2003
Karbala, Iraq - March 2003

With SGT Brian Colby in Najaf, Iraq - March 2003
With SGT Brian Colby in Najaf, Iraq - 2003

THIS--this is blood on the streets. Is this avenged now? No.
THIS--this is blood on the streets. Is this avenged for?
No. No, the lives of those lost can never be forgotten.

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