Post 9-11: It’s 15 Years And Counting


Photo credit: Jackie Dorr

Sunday is the 15th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks and as National Public Radio reports, the United States has been fighting every day since:

The U.S. has carried out airstrikes, sent in ground forces, or both, in seven countries stretching from Pakistan in the east to Libya in the west. None of these conflicts has been resolved, and all signs point to years of strife ahead.

Sept. 11 has reshaped the U.S. in countless ways, but perhaps the most profound has been the transformation from a country where peacetime was the norm into one seemingly locked into a permanent state of war. Yet strangely, the country doesn’t feel much like it’s at war.

But that sentiment – “the country doesn’t feel much like it’s at war” – does not hold true for those in the military, nor for their families and friends. They have fought the battles and borne scars for the never ending war against terrorism.

This blog, Off the Base, was created in part to bridge that gap between the civilian community and active-duty military, veterans and their families.

Off the Base, which will be six years old next month, owes its creation to First Lady Rosalynn Carter and the Carter Mental Health Journalism Fellowships she inspired.

If the stories shared here have lifted the stigma of seeking mental health help for even one Airman, Sailor, Soldier or Marine or a spouse or military child, then it has been a good six years.

My deepest appreciation with humility and awe is extended to all the blog contributors and to all those who allowed me to tell their story. Their wisdom and willingness to serve no matter the sacrifice is inspiring and significant.

And of course – I am overwhelmed by Mrs. Rosalynn Carter’s graciousness and generosity of spirit. I am forever changed and grateful to have been selected a Carter Fellow 2010-2011.9-11_screenshot_cropped




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