Tomorrow marks the 10 year anniversary of 9/11. Bloggers all over are remembering where they were when tragedy struck the United States. In remembrance, blogs will be silent tomorrow.
My oldest daughter was 5 and in kindergarten. The boy child was a rambunctious 3 year old, running through the house creating as much noise as he could. I was in the living room watching the Today show and talking to my dad on the phone.
"Did you see that?!" I asked him.
"That's got to be a joke" he replied.
"No Dad, that just happened!"
It was played off as if a plane went off course and hit the towers. I kept watching. The boy kept making noise. Terrorists. It was no terrible accident. It was on purpose, to make a point. An attack on American soil. A reporter in Washington was on talking about what was happening there. An explosion occurred outside the Pentagon. It was said to be due to construction going on at the Pentagon. This quickly changed to the Pentagon was also hit by a plane.
What the hell was going on?!
I called my husband at work. I couldn't get through. At the time, he was working for a wireless company as the Director of Civil Operations. He was also a Marine Corps Reservist with only 7 days left to go for his contract. I didn't get too worried about getting in touch with him, he was usually on the phone 24/7. I kept watching the news. Hearing about the plane in Pennsylvania. More lives lost.
The phone ringing scared the crap out of me. I don't know why, maybe I was too caught up in what was going on.
"Hello ma'am. This is Sgt Imagonnakickyouinthegut from Selfridge Air Base. I am calling to confirm this is a working number for Sgt Jeff DeLauder".
I think it was about that time that it hit me. This was serious. They were getting ready to activate my husband and his platoon.
"Yes, it is. Is he being activated?"
"Ma'am we are just calling to confirm. I don't have any additional information at this time."
I wanted to scream into the phone, YOU CAN'T HAVE HIM! WE NEED HIM! HE ONLY HAS 7 DAYS LEFT ON HIS CONTRACT! The Sgt had hung up though. The line was silent. There was no one to scream at. Standing in the doorway stood a mini version of my husband looking at me with big eyes, suddenly quiet. I felt like someone had hit me with everything that was happening. I just sat in the chair and cried while he hugged me tight telling me not to cry.
I called my husband and got through. I told him about the phone call. He figured it was coming. He had hired some of his fellow Marines to work for him on crews. He was busy calling them in from the field. Selfridge was under orange alert. He was to report to the base that night for further instructions.
"Can you get my gear ready?"
Get your gear ready?! They can't have you! I need you here! The kids need their daddy! YOU ONLY HAVE 7 DAYS LEFT! It's not fair! They can't have you! I knew it was wrong to feel like that, but I did. I knew this was what he had signed up for. To fight for his country. We said goodbye not knowing when we would see him again that afternoon. I remember just standing on the porch watching his truck go down the street, wondering if he knew how much I loved him and was proud of him.
My husband, center right and his fellow Marines that worked for him.
He didn't come back that night or the next day. They were sequestered on base with no outside contact permitted. I didn't sleep at all that night. I just sat there in front of the tv crying. When he did come home I was grateful he didn't go. I found out though that he was not going to take his discharge date. He was going to stay in the USMC til the crisis was over. I was proud of him. He was torn. Do his duty or stay with his family. He felt he needed to do this, so we supported him. He told me he had to make a will while he was there. My heart sunk. I couldn't imagine not having him there in my life, watching our kids grow up. It just wasn't fair.
His gear sat by the front door. A constant reminder that everything we had worked so hard for could be taken away with a simple phone call. Every time the phone rang my heart stopped. He had given them his cell phone number though to activate him.
Our daughter was in private school. The school had a fun fair coming up. We were required to work so many hours for the fair. Since Jeff was required to be at the base on weekends, I had to change my volunteer hours. The lady across the street was going to watch the kids for me while I did the volunteer work but only was able to do it on Saturday. I explained to the volunteer chairman my situation.
"I'll get someone else to do your hours for you. Don't worry about it. You have enough to deal with now."
I told him I would do it, I just needed to switch. He obliged my request. I was all set for Saturday. When I walked up to report for my time, the entire staff stood up and clapped. I had, and still do remembering it, a knot in my throat as big as Texas. The love and support that I found that day was overwhelming. It was nice to know I was not alone now.
Fortunately, they never activated Jeff. In January, the commander gave him his discharge papers and told him to take them. He did, but felt like he was deserting his fellow Marines. One month later, they were deployed overseas.
Sgt Duane Dreasky being interred at Arlington. My husband attended high school with him.
He has lost fellow Marines and even a high school friend during this time. It seemed for awhile there was new news of someone he knew giving their life for their country. My heart goes out to these families they left behind.
It has been 10 years. My Marine has made me laugh, cry and madder than a wet hen at times. Through everything that we have been through, he has never made me ungrateful that he is still here. He is my rock, my best friend and I don't know what I would do without him.
My blog will be silent until Monday morning in observance of the 10 year anniversary of 9/11. My thoughts and prayers are with those families who have suffered terrible loss on this fateful day. I hope that they have found comfort and peace.