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9/11 Reflections

Col. Elizabeth J. Eychner, 51st Fighter Wing Mission Support Group Commander On Sept. 11, 2001, I was on my first deployment to Prince Sultan Air Base in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as the Deputy Services Squadron Commander. Even though the attacks were on U.S. soil, deployed service members in the Middle East were terrified of what was next. I remember the unity of our country through this tragedy and how we all stood together for freedom. We knew that we were going after those behind the attacks that claimed so many innocent lives. This kind of mass tragedy hadn’t effectively happened on U.S. soil since WWII and the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The sacrifices made by many service members over the last 20 years are because of the attacks in New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania. I am proud to have served with so many men and women who made costly sacrifices in bringing those who were behind the 9/11 attacks to justice. Also, through the military and diplomatic operations over the last 20 years, many in the Middle East who had no hope were given opportunities to make a better life for themselves and their families…and they did! We lost a lot of Americans and their sacrifices are honored by remembering the last two decades of military operations as we all stop to reflect on how it all happened.

PHOTO BY: Tech Sgt. Vernon Young Jr.
VIRIN: 210911-F-IO684-0006.JPG
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