I would like to take a break today from posting about universities to reflect for a moment on September 11. It’s safe to say that this is a day that irrevocably changed many of us — from those who lost loved ones, to those who were in uniform on that day and immediately rushed to our nation’s defense, and to those who put on the uniform in the days, months, and years that followed to help fight the long war.
One year ago today, I was in Iraq’s Diyala Province, serving with the 2d Squadron, 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment (LTC Paul T. Calvert, commanding). We were locked in
mortal combat with al-Qaeda terrorists who had controlled the countryside — before we arrived. I did the best that I could to help, but my service paled in comparison to that of my brothers-in-arms, the men who cleared insurgent-occupied houses, defied death every day on IED-laden roads, and persevered through danger to treat Iraqi civilians with dignity and compassion. Their courage would have made their predecessors, veterans of Yorktown, Gettysburg, Omaha Beach, the Pusan Perimeter, and Tet, proud.
While America is largely unaware of individual acts of heroism and sacrifice they’ll never see, I vowed that upon my return, I would do my small part to make sure that at least some of us were not forgotten. We lost too many men from our small unit and our small base, Forward Operating Base Caldwell. Here are their names, in the order they fell:
May God grant you everlasting rest. And may God comfort your families with the knowledge that you lived and died serving others. As my friend, First Sgt. James Adcock, told Stars and Stripes: ”They all need to be remembered, but the guys who served with them are never going to forget, and that’s what’s important.”