Church today started out with snippets from the news casts of the 9/11 attacks. I don’t think I’ve seen large blocks of the footage since 2001.
That was the day that Luke, my then fiance, was “at war.” It was the day that we started talking about deployment, war exercises, increased security on base (to the point that he couldn’t get on OR off); we had no idea what was happening, where things were going, or how quickly they were coming.
I had been in college for about a week-and-a-half. San Diego was considered a higher threat because of the ports, the military bases around, and because of the proximity to LAX. For the weeks after that, Luke got drafted from his unit to do base security; he worked horrible, relentless hours and wasn’t allowed to do his normal job.
He didn’t end up deploying until February, 2003. We were still able to get married the summer before he left. I felt like we lived a life in limbo- he was imminently deploying for months before they got the final orders. I decided to move back home and take the semester off from school. There were wills to complete, powers of attorneys to fill out, and documents that questioned who I wanted to be with me if they had to tell me something had happened to Luke. It was a lot to cope with being a 19-year-old newly wed.
But he came home. And now our life is normal. He wasn’t left with any scars that carry over into our lives. We have our little girls, and life is good.
To all those who never made it home, to the families who were left behind, to those whose lives will never be the same, we remember.