Called to Service - 9/11 Military Tribute

Contrary to popular belief, military recruitment did not surge immediately following September 11, 2001. The Army met its recruitment goals for 2001 and 2002, but there was no massive inundation of the ranks as is often the notion.

Still, there were those who enlisted in our armed forces after the tragedy of the attack on our nation ten years ago because they felt an urge to do something - to fight to protect the country and its citizens from the evil that had shown itself in the form of the murder of almost 3,000. Some of them finished academic years before dropping out of college, some only finished semesters. Some didn't even wait that long and went straight to the nearest recruiting center. Others quit jobs. Still others signed enlistment papers, but had to wait for 18th birthdays or highschool graduations. Some had to wait years and simply grow up, but they did it - grew up waiting and knowing they would one day join the ranks of the United States Armed Forces. Ten years ago, these men and women felt the feelings that we all felt - shock, anger, disbelief, and fear. Yet, they mustered a tremendous amount of courage as they willingly placed themselves in our service, knowing it meant certain danger as we became a nation at war.

I know many of these people and I am forever grateful. They do not seek thanks or recognition, but I wish to thank them anyways. On the anniversary of 9/11, I always think first of the victims and first responders, and then to the 9/11 recruits, who I like to think of as the nation's first responders. Below are a few to which I am personally connected, directly or through friends and family. I used their pictures recently in my classroom.

Called to Service

"We will bring the terrorists to justice; or we will bring justice to the terrorists. Either way, justice will be done."
-George W. Bush
US Airforce
October 2001 - December 2008

US Navy
March 2002 - Present

US Navy
October 2007 - Present

"Always will we remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory."

US Army
May 2002 - November 2008

US Airforce
October 2001 - Present

US Navy
September 2001 - June 2007

"In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility - I welcome it."
                                                                                                                             -John F. Kennedy

US Army
March 2003 - Present

US Army
July 2010 - Present

US Navy
March 2002 - December 2008

"The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain..."
                                                                                                                                 -Abraham Lincoln

US Army
Sgt. Nick Mason
2001 - KIA 21 December 2004
Mosul, Iraq

US Army
Sgt. David Ruhren
October 2001 - KIA 21 December 2004
Mosul, Iraq

US Marine Corps
Sgt. Josh Frazier
October 2001 - KIA 6 February 2007
Ramadi, Iraq

US Navy
SO1 (SEAL) Darrick Benson
September 2001 - KIA 6 August 2011
Wardak Province, Afghanistan

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