Soldiers recall answering the call of duty after witnessing attacks on 9/11
POSTED: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 - 5:45pm
UPDATED: Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 2:39pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — The terror attacks of 9/11 pushed many to answer the call of duty.
During the terror attacks of 12 years ago, SFC. Lisa Lewis was walking to class, as a sophomore in high school she never thought her life after school would involve the army. But after witnessing the attack on the twin towers, her mind was made up, she would make it her job to protect and serve.
"I think it was a catalyst to joining the service. The call to duty for a lot of people, especially my age, you know I found a sense of purpose in what I was doing," explained Lewis.
Major Darrin Theriault was one of the first troops in and the last ones out of Iraq.
As a career soldier he's seen his fair share of new recruits, but he said there's something special about those who chose to enlist after the attacks on 9-11.
"Soldiers were dying out there. For our soldiers to volunteer for that, without a draft, you really can't say enough about them and what heroes they are to me," explained Theriault.
SFC. Lewis said it was scary knowing she would be going in to a war zone at just 18 years old, but her conviction in what she was doing pushed her through.
"You feel pride and accomplishment that you're doing something for your country, you're doing something for the greater good. So I think that was always kept in mind," explained Lewis.
But just like any other American, SFC. Lewis and Maj. Theriault won't forget the events of 9-11 or how the world changed after.
"This morning I was watching the names being called out and it just really takes your breath away, gives you goose bumps because it seems like just yesterday that it happened," recalled Lewis.
"I literally felt like it happened just the other day. And I lost a lot of friends in Iraq and I know a lot of them love their country and they paid the ultimate sacrifice," shared Theriault.
Both Lewis and Theriault have served several tours overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan.