CARL JUNCTION, Mo. — When we think about what happened 20 years ago tomorrow… Every year, 9/11 hits home for a Carl Junction husband and wife.
Both — were active military 20-years years ago. They even had a connection to where one of the hijacked planes went down that day.
“It really impacted me in a way that made me just want to serve my country even more,” said Dr. Shellie Hewitt.
Dr. Shellie Hewitt, and her husband, Bill, are retired air force officers.
Shellie a Staff Sergeant — Bill a Master Sergeant.
“We both come from a military background, a military family. Her father’s a Vietnam vet. I have an uncle and my father was a Vietnam vet,” said Bill Hewitt, Master Sergeant.
20 years ago, Bill and Shellie were stationed at Whiteman Air Force Base in Johnson County, Missouri.
Bill had just been deployed — arriving in Germany on September 9th.
Two days later.
“Just a rollercoaster of emotions from the initial shock and disbelief, and then immediately going to, you know, my family and friends back home, are they safe, are they okay?” said Mr. Hewitt.
“Once we found out, you know, what had actually happened, just really reinforced my resolve as a military member that, you know, those cowards picked a fight with the wrong country,” said Mr. Hewitt.
“I had neighbors, as soon as they saw me pull in the driveway, come up and start asking me questions, you know, what is the base doing, what are you guys doing? Obviously, it’s stuff that I’m not going to be able to talk about, but at the same time, I could tell there was panic and they were looking to me for answers, and so I think at that point in time, that’s when it hit me. It just really got real,” said Dr. Shellie Hewitt.
It also got real close to where her folks lived — Somerset, Pennsylvania — about 15 miles east of where Flight 93″ went down that morning.
Shellie’s mother happened to be in Missouri, visiting. The events of that day for the Hewitts — as they are for many, especially our military men and women — still fresh.
Both believe we should truly never forget.
Both also believe — especially Shellie, who’s the dean of admissions at Missouri Southern — we should educate, learn — and for some — do.
“Take every day that you’re given and live it to the fullest, and if you can serve, I think you should serve,” said Dr. Shellie Hewitt.
“My time in the military helped me be the leader that I am today, and I feel like there are a lot of men and women out there who are just looking for an opportunity to make a difference, and I would say if you have that opportunity, take it. It’ll change your life,” said Mr. Hewitt.