8 years ago today, I sat in my dorm room at Marshalltown Community College staring at the television in disbelief. My dad had called mere minutes after the first plane struck the North Tower and told me to turn on the TV. He already believed that we were under terrorist attack. At 9:03 ET, I watched as a second plane struck the South Tower. Within minutes, terrorism experts were concluding that the attacks were intentional.
It was then that I determined to join the military.
In the days to come, we learned that al-Qaeda and its agent, Osama Bin Laden, were responsible for the attacks, and quietly to myself, I vowed to avenge the deaths of those innocent Americans who died in the attacks that day.
As I closed out my collegiate baseball career at the University of Iowa in 2004, it became clear that I would not be advancing to the next level. In the best shape of my life, and thinking that I had still had much to give my country physically, I enlisted as an Infantryman in the Iowa Army National Guard in May of 2004. I graduated that summer and shipped to basic training that fall.
Having been accepted to law school at Drake, I decided to enroll in ROTC and pursue my officer commission. After completing ROTC at Drake, I again chose the Infantry when it came time to pick my officer branch.
Now, rumors are swirling that we may be headed to Afghanistan late next year. Tough as it will be, and as hard as it is to leave my wife and daughter, I look forward to this fight. This is exactly why I joined, and this is exactly where we must make our stand.
Today, we remember the victims of 9/11.
Today, I remember why I fight.
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