Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Remembering 9/11, finding hope

Jessica Meyle and her son, Robert, born on May 13, 2002—just barely eight months after the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Ms. Meyle was a public affairs specialist in the TRICARE Management Activity, Communications and Customer Service division and still supports the Defense Health Agency today. Robert just started his first year in high school. Jessica Meyle and her son, Robert, born on May 13, 2002 — just barely eight months after the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Ms. Meyle was a public affairs specialist in the TRICARE Management Activity, Communications and Customer Service division and still supports the Defense Health Agency today. Robert just started his first year in high school.

Recommended Content:

MHS Remembers 9/11 | MHS Remembers 9/11

“You’re pregnant,” my doctor exclaimed with an encouraging smile across his face.

I slowly sat, not even sure if a chair was beneath me, and stared speechlessly with confusion. How, in the midst of so much tragedy, could something so wonderful be true?

I left, walking through waiting room of the Woodbridge Family Health Clinic on Sept. 12, 2001 looking at the solemn faces of veterans, military families and service members waiting to be seen. We were all still numb from the horrific events that occurred just 24 hours before.

Most of us can remember exactly where we were and what we were doing when the first airplane plunged into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. We all have our story. I was in my office at the TRICARE Management Activity in the Skyline offices, just a few miles from the Pentagon.

Sept. 11, 2001 started the same as any other Tuesday of any other week. The sky was clear and the air was just starting to get crisp. I started my work day at commuter lot picking up “slugs” for the morning drive. 

“This is a hoax—there’s no way this is really happening.” These were my first thoughts when I learned of the first plane. 

After that, a group of us gathered in the conference room and watched the rest unfold. We stared in disbelief as the towers collapsed, not even realizing how close the next threat would be.

Jessica and Robert, pictured together on Sept. 10, 2016.Jessica and Robert, pictured together on Sept. 10, 2016.

I remember seeing a low-flying plane just above the top of our building—but even now it’s hard to believe that’s what I saw.

We all knew someone at the Pentagon—a friend, a neighbor a co-worker. I thought fleetingly of the people I dropped off just a couple hours earlier. The sonic boom of the fighter jets scrambling to the scene made our offices shudder. The sound was like nothing I ever heard before.

I can’t stop the tears whenever I think of 9/11, the lives that were lost and everything that changed. It affected all of us in some way. But, every time I think of 9/11, also remember the day after and the hope my son’s new life gave me.

You also may be interested in...

Remembering 9/11: Military Health Leaders Reflect 20 Years Later

Article
9/14/2021
Onlookers view the collapsed side of the Pentagon building.

Military Health System leaders recall their 9/11 stories.

Recommended Content:

MHS Remembers 9/11

‘My Life Changed That Day’ – DHA Staff Recalls 9/11 at the Pentagon

Article
9/10/2021
"Merwynn Pagdanganan, a federal health care IT specialist at the Pentagon, was there the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. He jumped into action to support the emergency responders aiding and evacuating the injured (Courtesy of Merwynn Pagdanganan)."

A Defense Health Agency IT specialist recalls his 9/11 experience.

Recommended Content:

MHS Remembers 9/11 | 20th Anniversary of 9/11: Call-to-Action

Somber Ceremony at DHA Headquarters Evokes Vivid Memories of 9/11

Article
9/10/2021
Defense Health Agency Director Army Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Ronald Place and Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Gragg bow their heads for the invocation prayer during a ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, at DHA headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia, Sept. 10.

Vivid memories and somber reflections marked an emotional ceremony at Defense Health Agency headquarters on Friday as the military medical community remembered and honored the victims of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Recommended Content:

MHS Remembers 9/11 | 20th Anniversary of 9/11: Call-to-Action

9/11 20th Anniversary Message from DHA Leadership

Video
9/8/2021
9/11 infographic

Our commemorations of the terrorist attacks on our nation twenty years ago serve as a somber reminder of the loss on 9/11 and in the days and years that followed. Lt. Gen. Ron Place, DHA Director, and Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Gragg, DHA Senior Enlisted Leader, share their message honoring the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Recommended Content:

MHS Remembers 9/11 | 20th Anniversary of 9/11: Call-to-Action

9/11 Memories - Army Col. (Dr.) Geoffrey G. Grammer

Article
9/14/2016
Army Col. (Dr.) Geoffrey G. Grammer, Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center director

Army Col. (Dr.) Geoffrey G. Grammer recalls the events of 9/11

Recommended Content:

MHS Remembers 9/11 | MHS Remembers 9/11

9/11 Memories - Kate McGraw

Article
9/14/2016
Kate McGraw, DCoE Deployment Health Clinical Center interim director

Kate McGraw recalls the events of 9/11 at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware

Recommended Content:

MHS Remembers 9/11 | MHS Remembers 9/11

Medical Response to 9/11 - Paul K. Carlton Jr.

Article
9/13/2016
Lt. Gen. Paul K. Carlton Jr., retired, Surgeon General of the Air Force

Paul K. Carlton Jr. recalls the events of 9/11

Recommended Content:

MHS Remembers 9/11 | MHS Remembers 9/11

September 11: USU Answers the Call

Publication
9/12/2016

USU graduates, faculty and students were among the first responders to New York and Washington, as well as the Pennsylvania crash site. Their extensive training and experience enabled them to react and mobilize quickly, many of them within seconds of the Pentagon attack.

Recommended Content:

MHS Remembers 9/11

Medical Response to 9/11 - Patricia Horoho and Malcolm Nance

Article
9/12/2016
Photo of the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial. The Pentagon Memorial was created to remember and honor those family members and friends who are no longer with us because of the events of September 11, 2001 at the Pentagon. (Courtesy photo by Kevin Dwyer)

Patricia Horoho and Malcolm Nance recall the events of 9/11

Recommended Content:

MHS Remembers 9/11 | MHS Remembers 9/11

9/11 Memories - Patricia D. Horoho

Article
9/12/2016
Lt. Gen. Patricia D. Horoho, retired, Surgeon General of the Army

Former U.S. Army Surgeon General recalls the events of 9/11 at the Pentagon

Recommended Content:

MHS Remembers 9/11 | MHS Remembers 9/11

Chaplain of Navy Medicine Remembers Sept. 11, 2001

Video
9/12/2016
Chaplain of Navy Medicine Remembers Sept. 11, 2001

Capt. Dale White, chaplain of Navy Medicine, shares his story about Sept. 11, 2001. (U.S Navy video)

Recommended Content:

MHS Remembers 9/11 | MHS Remembers 9/11

Pentagon Flag

Photo
9/11/2016
Military Service members render honors as fire and rescue workers unfurl a huge American flag over the side of the Pentagon during rescue and recovery efforts following the Sept 11 terrorist attack. The attack came at approximately 9:40 a.m. as a hijacked commercial airliner, originating from Washington D.C.'s Dulles airport, was flown into the southern side of the building facing Route 27. (U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 1st Class Michael W. Pendergrass)

Military Service members render honors as fire and rescue workers unfurl a huge American flag over the side of the Pentagon during rescue and recovery efforts following the Sept 11 terrorist attack. The attack came at approximately 9:40 a.m. as a hijacked commercial airliner, originating from Washington D.C.'s Dulles airport, was flown into the southern side of the building facing Route 27. (U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 1st Class Michael W. Pendergrass)

Recommended Content:

MHS Remembers 9/11 | MHS Remembers 9/11

A communicator’s story on the morning of September 11, 2001

Article
9/11/2016
The garrison flag is hung from the still smoldering Pentagon by service members and firefighters. (DoD photo)

The Military Health System Strategic Communications Team remembers and commemorates the 15 years since 9/11

Recommended Content:

MHS Remembers 9/11 | MHS Remembers 9/11

Pentagon Ruins

Photo
9/11/2016
A section of the Pentagon lies in ruins following the deadly Sep. 11 terrorist attack in which a hijacked commercial airliner was crashed into the Pentagon. American Airlines FLT 77 was bound for Los Angeles from Washington Dulles with 58 passengers and 6 crew. All aboard the aircraft were killed, along with 125 people in the Pentagon. (U. S. Naval photo by Photographer's Mate 1st Class Michael W. Pendergrass)

A section of the Pentagon lies in ruins following the deadly Sep. 11 terrorist attack in which a hijacked commercial airliner was crashed into the Pentagon. American Airlines FLT 77 was bound for Los Angeles from Washington Dulles with 58 passengers and 6 crew. All aboard the aircraft were killed, along with 125 people in the Pentagon. (U. S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 1st Class Michael W. Pendergrass)

Recommended Content:

MHS Remembers 9/11 | MHS Remembers 9/11

Pentagon Scene

Photo
9/11/2016
A fire fighter from Arlington County, Fire Department surveys the scene during rescue and recovery efforts following the deadly Sep. 11 terrorist attack in which a hijacked commercial airliner was crashed into the Pentagon. American Airlines FLT 77 was bound for Los Angeles from Washington Dulles with 58 passengers and 6 crew. All aboard the aircraft were killed, along with 125 people in the Pentagon. (U.S. Naval photo by Photographer's Mate 1st Class Michael W. Pendergrass.)

A fire fighter from Arlington County, Fire Department surveys the scene during rescue and recovery efforts following the deadly Sep. 11 terrorist attack in which a hijacked commercial airliner was crashed into the Pentagon. American Airlines FLT 77 was bound for Los Angeles from Washington Dulles with 58 passengers and 6 crew. All aboard the aircraft were killed, along with 125 people in the Pentagon. (U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 1st Class Michael W. Pendergrass.)

Recommended Content:

MHS Remembers 9/11 | MHS Remembers 9/11
<< < 1 2 3 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 3

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.