The events of September 11th, 2001, affected the loved ones of police, fire and military responders.
“9-11 literally turned everyone’s world upside down,” explained Retired Lieutenant Colonel Chis Baird. “We were newly married, had a young baby at home. And, when 9-11 hit, I found myself deploying unexpectedly and leaving a young bride and baby at home.”
Baird was on the first U.S. Air Force mission to Afghanistan following the start of the War on Terror.
“It certainly changed our lives,” he said. “And, when I look back, that was a very very tough time. There were so many uncertainties.”
Chris’s wife Rachel also recalls the impact on their family.
“My biggest problem was during that time. And I struggled with him being gone. I struggled with the fact that somewhere on the other side of the world, there was another wife, and her husband wouldn’t come home because my husband killed him. And I struggled with tha,” she explained.
Chris and his comrades were awarded for saving the lives of several American and coalition forces and stopping a large Taliban offensive. Upon arriving back on home soil, they were taken to New York City where they were guests of honor. The couple visited Ground Zero where the arduous recovery process was still underway.
“It was pretty overwhelming,” recalled Rachel.
Chris and Rachel say the mission and sacrifice were hard. But, they’d do their part again if they had to.
“ We know that for that time in our life, we were called to do a job. We did our job, we did it well. And, that is all we can do,” Rachel said.
Chris added, “Looking back, I am proud of it and it is fond memories of what we accomplished. It made us stronger as a couple.”