"To this day, I'm still angry. I want to scream at the world, 'Come after ME. I'm a soldier. Don't mess with our citizens. That's why I'm here.'" - Eddie, NYC first responder on 9/11 (quoted to the best of my recollection)
The above statement was made by one of my teammates during one of two 9/11 memorial GORUCK events I completed this weekend. There were many physical and mental challenges our teams endured to earn our patches but the greatest thing about GORUCK is it's not about me or what I can do. It's not even about the team and what we can do. It's about learning and growing in our understanding of what the individual people in our military put on the line every day somewhere in the world. It's about making "them" real and bringing their reality into our daily consciousness.
During these challenges, we each carried the memory of someone who lost their life on 9/11/2001. Mine...
ERIC ALLEN, age 44, NYFD Squad 18, died in a stairwell in one of the towers with seven other men from his squad. He was known for his handyman service to elderly people in his neighborhood. He left behind his wife, Kathleen and a three-year-old daughter whom he called 'Mouse'.