September 11, 2001 started out very normally for me. I had recently become the EMS co-coordinator for the town I work in, and headed to a Region 5 EMS meeting on that day. The meeting was to start at 0900. I arrived in Taunton 15 minutes early, and walked in to SPC, to the TV on and Scott mentioning something about “check this out”. I saw a plane had hit a building in NYC. The speculations were flowing, and not much more about it was thought. I put my things down, and waited to start the meeting. I was also anxious, because I had a lunch date with a girl who worked out of the region office. It was to be a “first date”. As she walked in, I tried my best to be non-chalant and appear cool, calm, and collected. She appeared visibly shaken. The reason was, that she had walked down the hallway to the meeting area just as the second plane hit the towers. It was then, that day, and that meeting changed everyone forever. We quickly realized life as we knew it was different today. The meeting was canceled, the departments represented were told to go home and be ready. Word was that we could see an attack locally, or that there might be planes of wounded and injured being flown into Otis ANGB. I looked at her, she looked at me, and we agreed another time for lunch. I proceeded home to town. The station was fully staffed with 4, the ambulances were ready to go, and for the next week, we did nothing but watch the news. I saw the USAR teams on TV, watched the soldiers and military and rescuers swarm to the site, and felt I should be there. I should be contributing. I should be making a difference. I had done a tour in the Marines, and gotten out with no intention of returning to military service, but this changed everything. I needed to serve again, because I felt it was my duty to protect my country. I couldn’t get to help fast enough, but I learned then, that resolve can take time. I was awe struck by the work of the rescuers for weeks after. I watched people I knew, and respected, working the piles. I knew I wanted to be one of those people who helped out, when the world around someone literally crumbled. It took me a long time to make up for “not being there” for the people in our country, but I got back in the military, and was able to serve my country again. In 2010, shortly after returning home from Iraq, there was a drill held at Camp Edwards. It was a drill for the FEMA US&R MATF-1 to practice disaster response. I got to operate some heavy equipment to build the props for of the set up of that drill, as part of my military job. Again, I saw people in the TF that I had come to admire and respect. I had been in the fire service for about 15 years, and felt now might be the time I had enough education and ability to try to become a member. Luckily, here I am, 3 years later, and able to say I work with some of the most dedicated, knowledgeable, and patriotic people I have ever had the honor of being associated with. I will never be able to say thank you enough to the people of MATF 1 for dedicating their time and energies to helping the people of the USA, but hope that I can pay that back in some small way, by serving with you now and into the future. I cant say enough about you all, and the sacrifices you make for our great nation. Thank you all for the things you do every day.