Fifteen years after the September 11, 2001 attacks, Home Base remembers. In the below 15 posts, we highlight unique and personal perspectives from Home Base staff on the attacks, the recovery, the rebuilding, and the impact 9/11 has had on their world. Many point to September 11th as the pivotal point in their lives that changed their trajectory for the future. Others say it was the aftermath of that day that led them to work on behalf of Home Base– and to fight for our mission to heal the invisible wounds of war for Post-9/11 Veterans, Service Members and their Families.
Lauren Laifer was in her 2nd grade classroom when her teacher wheeled in the TV and told the group their parents would be in soon to pick them up. For months after that day, she was scared a terrorist attack would occur in her small town. Since then, her path led her to Home Base where she is proud to work on behalf of an organization that aims to overcome barriers to care for Post-9/11 Veterans.
A Veteran himself, Armando Hernandez decided to enlist on 9/11. He remembers how his deployment affected not just him, but his entire family. Part of why he works on behalf of Home Base is to ensure military families and those Veterans who are having difficulties do not have to white-knuckle through hardships alone.
Kristen Chadwick watched the attacks as they happened in her university cafeteria. She says the room, overflowing with college kids, was so silent– you could hear a pin drop.
Louisa Sylvia heard the news when she was at work. She and her colleagues dragged a TV into a conference room and watched together. Soon, they sent everyone home… and she drove straight to her parents house. She says her gut instinct was to go to her “home base.” That day, and the aftermath, shaped her future and led her to work at Home Base.Veteran Laura Lakin was in 8th grade when America was attacked on 9/11. That day changed the trajectory of her life. After serving in the Army, she came home and now devotes her time towards helping fellow Veterans who may be struggling with issues associated with deployment.
Stefanie Ryan viewed 9/11 and its aftermath through the lens of a military family member. The effects of the attacks on Service Members and Veterans inspired her to use her double major in fine arts and psychology to embark on a career that allows her to give back to those who have defended our freedom.
Home Base’s Chief Operating Officer, Michael Allard remembers holding his first baby and watching the coverage of the attacks. He says he felt fear for the world he was bringing his daughter into… but he also felt determined, and committed to doing something to make the world a better place.
While on deployment Post-9/11, Navy Veteran Kevin Dillon was trained to manage physical wounds commonly associated with combat. He quickly saw, though, the need to attend to the injuries that were unseen.
Too young to understand the effects in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, Home Base’s Development Coordinator, Kelsie Dodier, now sees the profile of a military generation through her work at Home Base.
A proud Service Member for more than three decades, Brigadier General (ret.) Jack Hammond was sitting in his office speaking with his wife when she told him about the breaking news– a plane had hit the World Trade Center. He watched the second plane strike on tv, and ordered his Battalion to report for duty and each unit to increase security at their facilities. He didn’t make it home for several days… and then embarked on three deployments. Today, he heads Home Base and focuses what happens to Service Members, Veterans and Military Families when they come home.
Alexander Holt is a Marine Corps Veteran. He says the morning of the attacks, he was sitting in his parents living room when his mother ran up the stairs screaming that the World Trade Center was on fire. They then sat together as a family watching the horrific events unfold. That day was his driving force to enlist and eventually, to work for Home Base.
Olivia Pappas was only nine years old when she watched the Twin Towers fall on the TV in her classroom. Olivia says it’s sometimes hard for her to pinpoint how her life would be without war.
Mary O’Meara says the events of September 11th affected her strongly– strongly enough to make it her mission to help those who have served since that day.
Veteran Ryan Casavant was at work on 9/11 when his manager told him the news and sent him home to be with his family. Watching the coverage of that day inspired him to enlist, and he says it is a decision he stands by 15 years later.