There are certain events in life one never forgets. The morning of October 7, 2002, was one of those times. I was deploying for combat. I was stepping inside the ring.
During my seventeen years of military service as a navy enlisted man and later as a Marine officer, I had deployed overseas five other times. I had served on the USS Ranger
in the Persian Gulf in the early 1980s as a young sailor, loading bombs and missiles on jets. After earning my commission and wings, I flew Harrier jets across the Pacific Ocean, island hopping from California to Hawaii, to Wake, to Guam, to Japan and back the...