By Commander Christopher Mulrooney, Chief of Website Engineering USS Angeles
We all remember where we were when we heard the news a plane hit the World Trade Center, then the center’s second tower, then the Pentagon.
Then came the brave passengers who attacked the hijackers and brought down another plane in a field in Pennsylvania before the hijackers could hit their target.
I remember very well where I was on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001.
Earlier in the year, I enlisted in the Army National Guard and was awaiting my time to go off to basic combat training in mid-October 2001. In the meantime, I was working at a Taco Bell in Spencer, Iowa. which opened earlier in the year. It was the start of the Clay County Fair, so we were expecting a busy day,
I was starting my day as shift manager and prepping for the opening. I can remember exactly what I was prepping at the time when I heard on the radio a breaking news report that a plane hit the World Trade Center in New York City. Mind you, younger folks, we didn’t have smartphones yet, and YouTube wasn’t even a figment of someone’s imagination. We discussed the crash at work, thinking the tower was hit by a small plane that maybe got lost in some fog or something.
Then we heard it was a jetliner.
Then the second plane hit.
That’s when we knew we were under attack.
The general manager called me and said he was coming in to take over the shift and that I should go to the National Guard Armory. When the manager arrived, I headed out and stopped to see the TV news at a friend’s video rental store. That’s when I saw the footage of the first tower going down, then the second one. I did report to my National Guard Armory and started guarding the armory with my sergeant. We were put on high alert.
The unit was activated in response. Some of the soldiers from our unit were assigned to the Clay County Fair and others to the area airports. Since I hadn’t gone to basic training, I was assigned at the armory with my supply sergeant, prepping the unit and supplies.
In mid-October. I left for basic combat training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. I later went to Fort Lee in Virginia for advanced training for my job as a unit supply specialist. I completed training in March 2002
Toward the end of 2002, I was prepping for deployment to Iraq, where I was stationed in 2003 and 2004. I later served in New Orleans after hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and during the U.S. border mission in Yuma, Arizona. in 2006-2007. Then I moved to Los Angeles. where I joined the crew of the USS Angeles, a chapter in Region 4 of STARFLEET International while I continued my service until the end of my enlistment in the Army in January 2012.