September 11, 2018.

Today is September 11, 2018. Seventeen years past the day of infamy and the attacks that changed the very core of America. Many different things changed that day. On a deeply personal level, I changed. Something inside of me was lost that day, and no amount of searching has recovered it. We were attacked and thousands of our fellow citizens died that day in many horrific ways. Americans became frightened, and our government got on their soapboxes and called for the deaths of people thousands of miles away from the attacks. Reasons to declare war was discovered and the next generation of American youth joined the military to make a difference.
It was no different for me. Rage flushed my body and I quickly signed up to go to into the military. In my mind, we could not allow such action to go unpunished. By God, we were innocent. This type of action should never happen in America. Alas, it did. After a year and a half of training, I was sent to Ft. Hood. There I deployed into Baghdad. My mind had a preconceived idea of what was waiting for us when we entered Iraq, but my mind and ideas quickly changed. Anyone with combat experience will tell you the most dangerous days in Indian country is the first one hundred days, and the last one hundred days. My idea quickly went out the window when I met some of the locals. “They are just like us. Trying to survive.” War is easy to deal with when everyone is your enemy. When good people get in the way, or hurt, it complicates things on an emotional level. America has never recovered from the attacks of 9/11. Our society has come to a place where many of my fellow citizens are willing to hand over their rights for a tiny piece of security.
Seventeen years later we are no closer to victory than when I first arrived in the sandbox. Many lives have been impacted due to the war on terror, both here at home and abroad. Those of us who did come home, fight a different battle now. My heartfelt prayers go out to those that are fighting now, those that struggle with suicidal thoughts, and those who battle daily for their sanity.

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