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Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering 9/11

I'm always touched when reading other accounts of 9/11. It's a day most of us will never forget.

I was on my third USO tour with my rock band. We were setting up for our first show in Bahrain (just south of Saudi Arabia. We had just arrived the day before soaking up the local atmosphere and getting to know the troops on base. It was about noon and we were getting things ready for our show that night. All of a sudden everyone stopped to see a breaking news feed from CNN. The base went into scramble mode and a base commander told us that our show had to be postponed until further notice. As we headed back to our hotel we were accompanied by Marines and were under guard and observation in the city.

Needless to say we were all in shock and our tour was cancelled. We spent a week and a half in that hotel and couldn't venture out during that time for security reasons. We spent a lot of time in the hotel bar since it was much too depressing staying locked up in our room. Our singer was very depressed and spent many nights crying in her room. Communication to the states that day was impossible. I tried calling my wife and family several times with no luck. Internet and phone service was quite different back then.

Security going back home was a HUGE ordeal. Getting all of our gear past customs over several countries was an amazing feat. When we finally made it home we were relieved and very overcome with sadness for all those lost in the tragedy.

The Pentagon did invite us back on tour post 9/11 and we were the first American rock band to play for the Allied troops.

Doing those tours for the troops was an amazing experience and was very humbling. There are so many things Americans take for granted. I for one am very grateful to have made it back home to my wife and family.

Here are some pictures of my old band performing at the first "real meal" for the Allied forces post 9/11 in Afghanistan. This super supper was the first time they had anything other than MRE's (meals ready to eat). We were fortunate to supply them with some good American rock music!



Twitter @aljonrocks

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