For Once…Something Not Cool


I usually plaster my blog posts all over social media, but I won’t be doing that for this one. This post is not to promote any of my books or spotlight something cool that I think geeks like me will appreciate. This is just something that needs to be said.

9/11 Changed my life, and it was not cool.

To be fair, it changed all our lives and not for the better. This bodes especially true for the thousands of people who lost friends and family that day. To any and all such persons who may be reading this, my sincerest regrets.

In 2001, I was nearing the end of my enlistment in the North Carolina Army National Guard. I had no intention of re-enlisting. I’d only joined the Army NG to get through a rough patch financially, and after three years of steady employment, I planned on getting out. After 9/11, I re-uped and soon found myself spending a lot more time away from my family than I ever intended. I became a sergeant and embraced the life of a soldier to the best of my ability, for that is what I had to do to get through it all. To be frank, I am not really the “type A” kind of guy the military most appreciates, and trying to force myself into that role was stressful and not entirely successful. I am now a retired soldier and a much happier person for having come out the other side of it all.

Perhaps that’s where we all are? After fifteen years, we’ve come out the other side. The shock is over and the troops are, mostly, home (and we should give our best for the ones who aren’t). Fifteen years later, we are able to put it all into a perspective that was once impossible for us. We should appreciate that our perspective was hard won and took years to develop…and it must be shared with others! We live in a world where terrible things sometimes happen. We need to pass on what we’ve learned to help those who do not have our experiences to cope when things go terribly wrong. Thus, our perspective is a gift we can give to the future, and we would be miserly not to share it when the time comes.

I am at a much more peaceful place now. And however, 9/11 affected you, I hope you are too. May we all continue to grow and heal as we remember that day.



4 thoughts on “For Once…Something Not Cool”

  1. Nice, Clayton. Fifteen years seems like a long time, and I wonder too about when to put 9/11 behind me, even as a civilian. I still worry about our vets. I’d like to see our country do a better job addressing the challenges faced by the returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan before we put this behind us. It seems connected to me and until all our soldiers can move on, I wonder if it’s wise for the nation to do so. I’m so glad you are in a good place, my friend. 🙂


  2. I was in the Philippines serving a church mission when we learned about it. People we were visiting pointed to the news. Still crazy to think about. We’ve definitely all been changed because of it.


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