Letter to the Editor: American Legion Post Commander thoughts on 9/11

(ROCKWALL COUNTY, TX – Sept. 11, 2017) Let us remember the events that happened in 2001 that changed not only the world but also changed the lives of so many people. I will always remember where I was and what I was doing that day.

I was stationed at Ft. Polk flying UAV’s to support the JRTC Rotations. On that day there was a rotation going on and my squad had the night shift so I had actually slept through the events. I had gone to the gym that afternoon and the event was all over the TVs. Standing there watching it for the first time I knew we were at war. I didn’t know when or where but I knew that I would be deploying somewhere.

My unit deployed to Kuwait in January 2003 and we were there when the Operation Iraqi Freedom began. The first night of the war I slept in my gas mask because of the scud missile launches and patriot missile intercepting them. I would go on to complete a 12 month tour over there and come back with many scars that would later end my military career. But there would be many soldiers, sailors, airman and marines that would not come back from their tours.

The Royse City American Legion post is named after two soldiers who died in this Global War on Terror.

Jerod Osborne was born February 23, 1990 in Dallas TX to Allan and Sharon Osborne. His mother later married Gary Grillett of Rockwall, who helped raise him. A 2008 graduate of Rockwall High School. In 2009 he was assigned to his unit at Fort Bragg NC and later attended Airborne School at Fort Benning GA. He deployed with his unit to Afghanistan in August, 2009. In May 2010, he was the only medic at the scene when a roadside bomb killed five civilians and critically wounded seven others. He received a Bronze Star for saving the lives of the injured civilians.  On July 5, 2010 his unit was attacked by an IED and Jerod died from his wounds.

Spec. Tracy Lee Laramore graduated from Lamar High School in Arlington, Texas.  Tracy was stationed in Colorado, Korea, Germany and Kosovo, his family said. But after two and a half weeks in Iraq, Laramore, 30, died March 17, 2004 in Baji when the road gave way beneath his Bradley Fighting Vehicle while he was on a reconnaissance mission. The vehicle went over an embankment and flipped into the Tigris River, trapping Laramore.

Let us remember the sacrifices of our service members and their families who have had to carry the burden of their losses. Let us remember the sacrifices of the first responders who ran to the towers when others were running away. Lastly let us remember that many of our lives were changed that day but that we will not live in fear but that we will carry on. We will carry this legacy forward so that no one will forget our resolve.

Submitted by Jason Castleberry, Post Commander, Laramore-Osborne American Legion Post 100

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