PAT LAMOUREUX - One episode in a person's life, does not define the person.

Friday, September 9, 2011

How September 11, 2001 changed my life

As we approach the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001, I hope everyone will stop and consider how far reaching the effects of “9/11” have been on our country.  Consider not only what happened that day, but what has happened to many other families since that day.

2,977 people died as a result of the terrorist attacks that morning. 2,606 at the World Trade Center location; 125 at the Pentagon; 87 on American Flight #11;  60 on United Flight #175; 59 on American Flight 77;  and 40 on United Flight #93. More than 70 countries lost citizens that day.  (,_2001_attacks)
The numbers of families impacted that day: 1609 people lost a spouse/partner, and at least 3,051 children lost a parent.  

The effects of that day continue to impact our country.  As the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq rage on, on September 5, 2011, the U.S. Central Command confirmed 6,200 casualties from the wars. 9/5/11

On September 1, 2011, the Associated Press reported that August 2011 marked the first month since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, that no casualties were reported in Iraq. The AP reported that 4,474 deaths had occurred in Iraq alone since 2003.

If there had never been a 9/11, families would not have lost their loved ones in these wars on foreign soil. They would not have had to meet that flag-draped casket at the airport returning from a long journey across the sea.

If there had never been a 9/11, we would not have families whose loved ones came home missing limbs, badly burned, and debilitated from their service to our country – not only physically wounded, but also PSYCHOLOGICALLY wounded.
On September 5, 2011, Veterans for Common Sense reported that every day, 18 veterans complete suicide.  For the past two years, more veterans have died as a result of suicide than were killed by the enemy.

“In war, there are no unwounded soldiers” (J. Narosky); the wounds of war are not always visible, but the psychological wounds of war are just as real as the physical wounds.

Prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the Veterans Administration had communicated to the White House that the “estimated” cases of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) resulting from the war in Iraq would be 8,000.  That is not a typographical error; in 2003 the VA estimated 8,000 cases of combat related PTSD.

In September 2009, Stanford University released information from a study which indicated that we can expect an astounding 700,000 soldiers to be impacted by PTSD. That number is far more realistic than the 2003 estimate.
                                                                                           Pat Lamoureux 2002/2003
Everyone should remember that those 700,000 soldiers have families, and PTSD also impacts the members of that soldier’s family.  

I believe that on September 19, 2008 my life was directly impacted as a result of 9/11.  On September 19, 2008, my wonderful, kind, caring, loving husband snapped. 

If he had not been in the Army Reserve, he would not have been activated and sent to Iraq with the invasion forces in 2003.  He would not have come home only to receive inadequate and inappropriate care from the VA.   He would not have spent 2-1/2 years confined in a county jail without a trial, and he would not have been sitting in prison for the past 6 months. 

                                                  Pat Lamoureux 9/5/2011
                                         Southern Desert Correctional Center

If we are lucky, he will be able to come home in 3 years. We will have lost 6 years of our lives.  This happened because my husband was sent to Iraq following the events of the morning of September 11, 2001.  He was proud to serve our country - and he deserves better treatment than he has received.

None of us will never forget 9/11 – but as Americans we must also remember the great sacrifices our military forces have made as a result of that ill-fated day.  

When you see a soldier in uniform, thank them for their service.   They serve to protect our country in hopes that we will never suffer another attack on our country as we did on 9/11/01.

God bless everyone whose life was changed because of that ill-fated day in 2001.  ~  Sue Lamoureux

"Grandpa Pat & Kain"

"Grandpa Pat & Kain"
"Kain-man" the jokester....

Pat Lamoureux - Iraq 2003

Pat Lamoureux - Iraq 2003
"Pat is an extraordinary, thoughtful, kind and generous man...not to mention a wonderful friend, in which one could always count upon to be there when in need." (words of a long time friend)

Pat's Family

Pat's Family
Mica & Heather, grandson Kain