Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

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Dan Rackley

Dan Rackley is a US Naval veteran living in Philadelphia and a contributor to "Will They Ever Trust Us Again?"

May 2nd, 2011 9:58 AM

Osame Bin Laden Dead: One Veteran's Thoughts

I remember exactly where I was.  I had walked into one of my department offices on the USS Bataan.  I had filed a request for a four day liberty to visit my father.  We were scheduled to go on a deployment not too long after September 11 to begin with.  As I walked into the office, everyone was glued to a television in the corner.  It was shortly after the first plane hit.  I sat down with everyone and watched as everything unfolded.  As the second tower was hit, I just took the request and ripped it up.  I knew what was happening then.  It wasn’t until later in the day that I heard the name Osama Bin Laden for the first time.  I was a kid from a small town that really didn’t know how the world worked yet.  We didn’t know on the ship where exactly we were heading.  All we knew is that we were going to find the person responsible and do whatever had to be done.

Over the course of the next ten years, a lot of things happened in the world.  We went to war again, this time to find another guy that although he may have not been directly involved in 9/11, represented the same evil and terror to most Americans.  I got out of the Navy, I moved to Philadelphia.  I fell in love and got married.  We almost forgot about the guy that caused us so much pain and heartache ten years ago.

Fast forward to last night.  We were getting our son ready for bed and getting ready ourselves.  We were sitting down to watch a movie.  I accidentally change the channel to CNN instead of turning on the DVD player.  We see Wolf Blitzer telling us the news like he has so many times over the course of our lives that Bin Laden had been killed.  We sat and watched the President tell us that it was true, that it wasn’t some kind of horrible rumor.  The man responsible for all those horrible things was dead.  Our son wasn’t exactly sure who he was, he was too young at the time.  But he knew that someone that hurt people had been killed.  That’s a good thing that as far as I am concerned.  It’s a good lesson for a young boy.  If someone hurts people, they should be punished.  It took ten years, it took over 2,800 American soldiers lives, and thousands of innocents were killed in the 9/11 attacks;  but it got done.  Like the President said, justice has finally been gotten for America.

I’ll never forget where I was then, and I’ll never forget where I was last night.  I was sitting on the edge of my bed with my family.  Knowing that some of the pain was over.  It will never leave me, or any of us.  It will always carry with us in every aspect of our lives.  But at least I know now, that all those men and women that died; and what we felt then and what we had to do wasn’t in vain.

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