RETIRED COL. JOHN DRISCOLL
When Al-Qaeda operatives launched multiple terrorist attacks against the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, striking the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., I was fortunate that the left wing tip of American Airlines Flight 77 touched the ground enough to slew the aircraft to the left as it entered the Pentagon.
I’d be just another pleasant memory, instead of sitting here 22 years later writing these thoughts.
After war’s random-victim-selector skipped me, I spent weeks and months serving as deputy team chief for one of two crisis action teams, overlapping 13-hour shifts on 10 days then rotating to 10 nights in the National Military Command Center.
Our team included the Army officer who directed street fighting in Mogadishu from the overhead aircraft during “Blackhawk Down” and the Navy officer who commanded the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen when it was attacked and damaged.
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There were others of similarly unique experience, so I did my best to be a small part of a real team helping to execute military plans made by others to destroy al-Qaeda and Taliban forces