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    A Renewed Fighting Spirit

    WHITEHALL, OH, UNITED STATES

    09.11.2021

    Story by Spc. Clevon Wright 

    367th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    U.S. Army Reserve Command Sgt. Maj. Anthony L. Taylor, of the 318th Theater Public Affairs Support Element (TPASE) in Arlington Heights, Illinois, first enlisted after high school in 1994 as a member of the U.S. Army Reserve. He came from a family with a strong military background and was looking for a way to help pay for college.
    The morning of September 11, 2001, Taylor had recently been honorably discharged from the Army and was living in downtown Chicago, Illinois across from the John Hancock Tower. He remembers being awoken by the sound of the news channel coming through the television and thinking the horrific reports had to have been some kind of movie playing because it was too surreal to be true. When he realized the severity of the events transpiring, he went outside to confirm that the 100-story skyscraper across the street was still standing. Instead, he was met with eerily deserted streets.
    The country was under attack.
    Taylor immediately felt inspired to return to military service. He said that his calling was “instinctual and a more compelling one than I had ever felt before.” He reenlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve and joined a chemical unit that was preparing to support the impending deployment efforts.

    “As horrible as it was, 9/11 brought me back to the military and it made me want to be the best soldier possible,” said Taylor. “I might not be the same command sergeant major that I am today.”

    Taylor noted that because of 9/11 there have been distinct changes to security measures in both military and civilian settings. He surmised that Americans are more alert and conscious of their surroundings because of the attacks.
    “After being at war for 20 years, we are a seasoned force,” said Taylor. He also noted that the U.S. military, as a whole, has markedly increased its readiness capabilities and steady-state security operations. Taylor said that the Army has adapted quite well to the increased risks of potential domestic terror and threats to individual soldiers.
    “The Army is continuously changing,” Taylor stated. He elaborated that it has gone from a force that invades and builds large encampments to one that is far more mobile and focused on rapid responses.
    Taylor wants soldiers who are too young to remember 9/11 to know that it is important to keep the memory of the day’s events alive – not just the lives lost, but also the unity of the nation afterwards. “It showed us what kind of people we are in terms of our ability to heal,” said Taylor.
    During the weeks leading up to September 11th each year, Taylor takes time to personally reflect about the families of those lost and the lasting affects of the disastrous bombing attacks. He is inspired by the heroism of first responders and civilians who courageously gave their lives to help others in the time of one of our nation’s greatest needs. Taylor said that in addition to honoring the stories of the victims, “the best way I can commemorate 9/11 is by finding ways to be a better soldier and a better human being.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 09.11.2021
    Date Posted: 09.15.2021 21:01
    Story ID: 405003
    Location: WHITEHALL, OH, US 

    Web Views: 30
    Downloads: 0

    PUBLIC DOMAIN