Adlk i .
S an Daily - Wednesday, September 26, 2007
WenedaSete be 6,207 heMihia Dil.
said. "A plane just
crashed into one of the
The news didn't
alarm me. I was sleep-
ing at the time, and knowing my room-
mate as well I did, I remembered the
last time I woke up with him in sight -
there was a Playboy on my lap, a poorly
drawn Sharpie mustache on my face
and he had a camera in hand. Needless
to say, I knew his bad sense of humor.
I assumed he was either playing
some tasteless practical joke or a small
Cessna crashed because of pilot error.
Sluggishly, I wrote it off as an attempt
to get attention, and tried to go back to
A few minutes later he came in
again and said the second tower had
I still thought it was a joke, but my
curiosity got the better of me. I got out
of bed and made my way into the living
room in time to see the first of thou-
sands of replays of the second plane
crashing into the South Tower.
My day was different from many
students' at the University. I didn't
watch the television for the next sev-
eral hours from a classroom, trying to
absorb what had just happened.
Instead, I put on myuniform, gotinto
my roommate's car, and we drove to our
Air Force base to see what we could do.
We also wanted to find out what coun-
try we would be deploying to.
It didn't take long for usto find out.
Sept. 11, 2001 was the beginning of
a long and unusual path that took
me to Southwest Asia, propelled me
through community college, and final-
ly landed me here at the University,
where I'm now enrolled as a junior
majoring in psychology and politi-
cal science. On campus, my life is a
little more peaceful than my life in the
military, but without the military, my
story as a student wouldn't be nearly
Early Thanksgiving morning 2001,
I boarded a leased commercial air-
plane bound for Southwest Asia along
with a couple hundred Airmen. As we
See BLUMKE, Page 9B
'm like every other student on
campus, except that every min-
ute of the day there's a nagging
thought at the back of my mind
that threatens to taint my days
at the school to which I worked
so hard to gain admittance.
When I joined the National Guard a
few years ago, partially to help pay for
college tuition, but what I didn't know
at the time is that membership also
meant that I was signing on to Opera-
tion Iraqi Freedom. Now, as a mem-
ber of the Guard, I could be asked to
deploy at anytime.
So while I'm sitting in class at the
Dental School, training to be a den-
tal hygienist, I know it might be only
a matter of days until I find myself in
Don't get me wrong; I know what I
signed up for and I'm proud to answer
the many different calls of duty. But
it makes my dreams of a degree more
complicated and it makes my dreams
campus don't know much about the
National Guard other than you get
some money for college, but it is so
much more than that. This is the first
real chance in the last few years that
I've had to go to school, even if it coin-
cides with training.
One common misconception stu-
dents seem to have is that I'm exempt
from serving overseas because I'm
enrolled in classes at the University.
That's not technically true. When I
first joined back in 2002, part of my
unit was deploying to Kuwait right
before I left for my initial basic combat
training. Several of my fellow soldiers
were college students who had to drop
classes and go halfway through their
But there are other reasons my
thoughts are lingering on Opera-
tion Iraqi Freedom. My husband is
an active-duty Army soldier, and
as I write this, he's serving in Iraq.
See MCVEY, Page 12B
of building a working marriage and a
family seem like just that - dreams.
Most people I've talked to on