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Chapter 1

The year that alot of history as we know it was written, the computers were really coming into their own, the PlayStation was a giant among giants, every kid, cat, dog and fish had a cell phone, and I had made a big decision in my life, the time was February and it was a quiet cold winter in Hamlin, N.Y. when I decided that I wanted to serve for the country that I was so proud and honored to be a part of. I had narrowed my choice down to either the Marines, Navy, or Airforce. I was 17 at the time so the parents did have a say in what branch it was that I joined. I had to present my case and present I did, the Air force by far the most dangerous job I wanted to do was be a pararescuemen, these guys are the elite of the Airforce they willing go behind enemy lines to pick up down pilots and crew members and various other cool things. My parents ney'd that one to death, then came the marines now mind you I wanted to have a medical job, and that was my path and nobody was going to tell me otherwise, so I walked into the marines recruiters office and sat down with the Sgt. there and said Sgt. I want to be a marine! The Sgt responded with "well son what is it that you wish to do to become a United States Marine?" "do you want to be a grunt, Motor T operator, or perhaps and aircraft mechanic?" I looked at him with quite a discontent look as these were nothing of the sort that I wanted to do. I stated "no I want to be a medic with the marines and take care of them, I hear that is a pretty honorable job." The Sgt replied " why yes it is, it is one of the hardest jobs of the marine corps, however we do have a rate or as we call it MOS for that." I replied well then how do I go about becoming one." The Sgt replied " As much as I hate to say this son, this is what you need to do." " you need to walk over to the Navy recruiters office next door and tell them you want to be a Hospital Corpsman." I replied " a hospital corpsman?" Sgt replied "yes, the blood angels as they are called. They will go to hell and back to get their marines out of harms way and will stop at nothing even if it means that they do not come home." I replied " well that sounds like my type of job."

So off I went, I walked into the Navy recruiters office and did all the talking blah blah blah I want to be a corpsman when can I leave and etc.. Then came the hard part pitching the idea to the parents. I sat down and wrote down all the pro's and con's of me joining the United States Navy. I sat down with my parents and put my cards out on the table and surprisingly they actually went for the idea. The recruiter came over and I got signed up. I left on July 30th of 2001 for bootcamp nervous as nervous can be, I was away from home for the first time since I was born, I was alone, and in a stranger new place where people were going to be yelling and telling me what to do constantly. We started what we call 1-1 day (which means where they can start Physically training you) on my birthday something I learned real quick to keep quiet about. The days came and went and I be the laundry petty officer for our division. We had a umique division we were what they called a triple threat division, meaning that we had band, color guard, and a rifle team. I will say our rifle team was TOP notch to say the least. I played the trumpet so that is how I got to be part of that division.

This is about the part where live turned rather interesting, it was a cloudy morning in Wakegan Il and I was sent off by my RDC's(recruit division commander, or Drill instructor) to go get my dress whites tailored because that very next week we were going to be graduating a division. It was 7:25 or so when I was sent on my way over there, a typical quiet morning to say the least. So i spent the better part of the day in there and little did I know what was going on outside of the little space I was standing in. The twin towers had been attacked and fallen, the pentagon had been attacked, a plane went down in Pennsylania somewhere. Chaos/ terror had struck the US and we were in threatcon delta. I left the tailor shop at approximately 1330 or so, started my trip back to the barracks when it hit me, something was missing, I did not know exactly what but something was just not right. I didn't hear any divisions marching around on the grinder or cars cruising by on the streets, there was no air traffic above. It was just all too quiet, so I thought somehow I had missed something along the way and needed to get back to the barracks as quick as my legs would carry me. I got to the front door when I was met by one of the Senior RDC's who didn't particularly like me too much, made me drop and give him 20 pushups while he inspected my uniforms. I got upstairs and I asked our watch " what happened???, Where is everybody" he replied with a there all upstairs grab your shoe shine stuff and get up there quickly. I reported upstairs where I was quickly stopped by one of my RDC's she called me into her office and proceeded to be nice to me (something new trust me) and asked me to sit down as she had some news for me. I was told about the attacks that had happened that morning and that they were going to show a video tape from CNN of the second plane hitting the towers. I didn't believe her until I actually watched that video and the Chaplain came in to see me. See I was a New Yorker, and a Emergency provider in the state, so they thought that I should go home. I chose not too, and instead with a drive like none other proceeded to graduate bootcamp and proceed to Hospital Corpsman A School, now the rest of this story will be told in chapter 2 as it mainly happes in 2002 however I will say that the 2001 year pretty much went off without any issues other than graduation.

The big day was upon our division to be done with bootcamp we were set to graduate. There was one big obstacle that we had to get over 9/11 had just happened not but three weeks earlier and America was still bleeding from her wounds and the military was still in it's highest threat con yet to date. Were we going to get to see our families?? Better yet were they going to get to see us march??? The answer to the this question came to us two days before our ceremony, Yes boys and girls the Base CO has decided to let your parents on now mind you they will not be able to tour the base but they will be able to come on and see you all march. So we did our thing and my parents took forever to find but I did end up finding them. The rest is well boring so I am not going to touch on it but from there I literally went across the street to Hospital Corpsman A-school. Which as I stated before will lead us into the 2002 year of my career.
Until tomorrow
Doc A Signing off!

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