On 11 September 2001, my Department Head School classmates and I watched in horror as the Pentagon and World Trade Center were attacked. With orders to an Aegis destroyer and having already contacted the officer I was slated to relieve, I knew my future shipmates were on deployment in the Fifth Fleet area of operations. I prayed for their safety. I also was envious that they were taking the fight to the enemy. In September 2002, my ship received orders to work up with our battle group for a probable deployment at the end of the year. On New Year's Eve, we got the word we would deploy in January. This was it; I finally was going to put my years of training to use. My actions would take Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction off the terrorists' shopping list, making my country and the world safer places.
Nobody Asked Me, But...Where Are the Weapons of Mass Destruction?
By Lieutenant Commander Richard Riggs, U.S. Navy