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How Osama Bin Laden Affected my Life: Good Riddance from a Navy Wife

On a Tuesday morning in September, I prepared to drive my kids to school. We had to go on base to retrieve my son's backpack from my husband's car. As I drive through the gate to enter the base as I had done hundreds of times before, the guards were different. They had large guns slung across their shoulders,  
with their fingers on the trigger

They were visibly alert, nervous and active. They actually stopped the car, asked to look at my military ID, scanned the car with their eyes, and then let me go through.
I retrieved the errant backpack thinking that was weird. On the way out of the gate, more guards on the other side inspected me closely as I drove slowly through. On the way to the school I decided to turn on the radio. The people said that what had happened was
like Pearl Harbor 
for our generation. They did not say what was happening, just that it was life changing. At home again, I turned on the news. This was sometime around 8am Pacific time, after the second tower fell. As I watched the news show what was happening, and listening to the announcers tell what little they knew at the time, along with how many people worked in those buildings. I was paralyzed. I called my mother two states away what was going on?
She didn't know much either. Called my husband. He didn't know much either, just that it meant something serious and life changing. By this time it was obviously terrorism. We all knew who was behind it......
Osama Bin Laden.

In the hours and days following this moment in my life I began to see just how much this would change my life in ways both small and large. I vividly remember my husband saying that this was when he wished for sea duty. He wanted to go take down the enemy. 
This was why I had married him. 
I remember being horrified at the possible number of dead, praying for the rescuers to find someone..... anyone alive in the rubble. I could not go to bed because my heart was so intimately involved in the search for life. It was as if I had loved ones inside.......My husband finally dragged me to bed.
We lived in a housing neighborhood beside the gated off area of the base in Fallon NV. Immediately the base put up cement traffic dividers in a zig zag pattern in order to slow down cars both entering and exiting the gated off portion of the base, but also at the entrances and exits to our housing neighborhood. Armed military police
with fingers on triggers 
were stationed at each spot closely inspecting us. Although we never before had been required to show our military ID at the gates, were we were now required to stop, show ID, answer questions, and consent to searches each time we came home. Our home teachers could not drive to our home. No one without ID could enter our neighborhood. We had to  meet them, have them leave their car outside, and bring them through. Once, I counted how many times I had to show my ID just to go grocery shopping (at the commisary on base).
1. At the gate entering the base
                                              2. At the entrance of the commisary (grocery store)
3. At the time I paid the cashier (typical they only serve military but still I'd already showed it twice~ I think by now they can establish I am allowed to purchase milk here!)
                                                                  4. At the exit of the building
5. At the entrance to my neighborhood
All this to drive two blocks to the grocery store to buy milk. This remained the situation for the year we lived in that home. Nothing said we were a target like that.
During that year, I remember my antenna going up when I saw a car stopped at the road that ran alongside the airfield, with someone watching the planes fly over. I told the guard at the gate. He immediately radioed in while I waited and he asked questions of me.
At this time, my husband  was on shore duty. In the Navy, troops rotate between sea duty, where they are stationed in an actively deploying command such as a squadron or a carrier, and shore duty where they do not deploy. They may still travel from time to time but they do not go into combat or out to sea.
He had one year until he rotated back to sea duty and we immediately knew he would be involved in one year. Sure enough we moved one year later, having our household goods delivered on 9/11 2002 to our military house in Whidbey Island. By October, my husband was gearing up with short trips to sea as they prepared to leave on a long cruise. In January 2003 he left for what would be almost 9 months at sea on the Carl Vinson. If you are tracking the time line this was as we were gearing up to rid the world of Saddam Hussein. There are so many other things that were caused by these events that it would be a book to list them. But this is my memories.
Today, almost 10 years later, I had pretty much accepted that Bin Laden was going to die of natural causes, an old man. I knew and accepted that his death would not be a strategic victory and that we needed to pursue the movement as a whole. When I saw on Facebook that he had been killed. I needed proof so I went to Drudge. Yep, it was there. We turned on the news. Yep there too. We listened to the President give his statement. Silence. It's true.
Immediately the images from 9/11 of Palestinians dancing and celebrating sprang into my mind and I felt like dancing in their honor. So I did.........

I danced with my kids on my porch. 

I didn't worry if it was the right thing to do. I just did what I felt like doing. I don't take that luxury often.

I feel good that Bin Laden has met his 72 "virgins."  Sorry, none where you are headed :-)

Good riddance! 
I give him over to God. Let God decide his eternal fate. Let him brag about his actions...... to God. This. world, no. longer. cares.

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