SPECIALIST MIKE MORIARTY is a Harley Davidson mechanic and lives with his family in Windsor, New Hampshire, population 201. He is married with a 4 year old son and a 1 year old daughter. Meet Mike as he was during deployment: he sent this email to Deborah on February 29, 2004.
I am very excited about getting the story to you from our eyes in the real world fashion you are looking for. Thank you so much for providing us with this opportunity to document our experiences for the sake of history.
I am 35 years old, born in Beverly Ma on Dec 1 1969. I joined the Army in 1988 as a Combat Engineer and entered the NG with the 101st Engineers in Ma. During the first Gulf war I transferred to the Army Reserve with the 756th Engineers on Ft Devens.
After the unit was disbanded I left the Reserves in 1992 and attended Aeronautical School where I learned to perform maintenance on all types of aircraft. Upon graduation I became an FAA certificated Airframe and Power plant Technician.
In the process of growing older and having come so close to being deployed during the first Gulf war I reached my 34th birthday and could not stand to see another soldier die without being able to do my part. I made the decision along with the amazing love and support of my beautiful wife that I was going to reenlist and volunteer to deploy to Iraq. After thoroughly searching for a unit whose mission was applicable to my military skills I learned that the 3/172nd Mountain Infantry was activated for duty serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. I immediately contacted the unit and became a member that week.
To explain the extreme feelings a soldier has towards helping his fellow soldiers is almost impossible. It is something a soldier feels so strongly about that we simply disregard our own safety, well being and comforts to make sure we do our part to take care of our buddies.
All of this is motivated by the common cause of defending our great country and the freedoms that we as Americans live by. It is something I absolutely have to do for ensuring the future safety of my 2 perfect children. I love them more than life itself.
On September 11th 2001 I was a changed man. I packed a bag and took a bus from Concord NH a week later to NYC. I had a pass and witnessed with my own 2 eyes the still burning nightmare and the smell of horror. I felt the 6 inch deep silt with my hands and read all the photo copies littered all over the place and posted on anything that was standing of missing loved ones.
This I will NOT EVER forget. I appreciate my parents. I appreciate my health. I appreciate what I do have.
I appreciate every single soldier who has done what I'm about to do. I hope to relieve a soldier who can go home and enjoy life with his wife and children. Whoever he will be, he is my hero.
I will write again soon,