Scott Strasemeier: Navy’s associate athletics director for sports information is currently in his 21st year at the Academy. Read more
Brian Stann: A former Navy linebacker, Stann graduated in 2003 and went on to serve two tours in combat overseas. He received the Silver Star for his leadership in battle in Iraq. Read more
John Dowd: The senior offensive guard for Navy is a native of Staten Island, N.Y., and was 11 years old on 9/11. On Sept. 11, 2010, Dowd ran onto the field for a game against Georgia Southern carrying an American flag that had previously been flown over special-operations bases in Afghanistan, raised at the World Trade Center site, and will be returned to Ground Zero for the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Read more
Ben Bertelson: The junior baseball student-athlete and management major at Air Force was in his fifth grade classroom in Midland, Texas, when the events of 9/11 occurred. Read more
Andy Berg: The current assistant men’s ice hockey coach at Air Force was a junior at the Academy during 9/11. Read more
Randee Farrell: Farrell was the senior captain of the Army women’s soccer team in 2001. She currently is a marketing officer for the university and the officer representative for the women’s soccer team. Read more
James Flowers: Flowers was coach of the Army softball team when the events of 9/11 occurred. He retired from the athletics department in 2009 and witnessed his recruits take on a greater sense of purpose and a greater pride wearing the West Point uniform. Read more
Charles Wynne: The current director of image management and strategy at the NCAA national office worked for the public relations staff for the U.S. Air Force. Wynne was at the Pentagon on 9/11. Read more
William Walker: The vice director of athletics at Air Force is also a 1983 graduate of the Academy. Read more
Brian Lorusso: Senior Cadet Brian LoRusso grew up on Long Island and was barely a teenager on Sept. 11, 2001. He is the captain of the Army lacrosse team that also includes his younger brother, Larry. His two older brothers, Nick and Kevin, also played on the team. The international and comparative legal studies major will graduate a second lieutenant and, depending on where he is stationed, could see combat. Nick and Kevin have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, respectively. Read more
As the nation prepares to acknowledge the 10th anniversary of 9/11 this Sunday, NCAA.org asked select student-athletes and staff from some of the Association’s service academies about how the tragic events of 2001 affected their lives.
Student-athletes either from the graduating class of 2002 or 2003 talk about the immediate impact of 9/11, and current student-athletes who will be graduating now after the death of Osama bin Laden reflect on 10 years of post-9/11 life. Also, staff who were at their schools 10 years ago offer their perspective on both then and now.
Farrell was the senior captain of the Army women’s soccer team in 2001. She currently is a marketing officer for the university and the officer representative for the women’s soccer team.
At West Point they’re always preparing you – that’s why we train the way that we do while we’re there – but I think it became a little more realistic to everyone after Sept. 11 that our service wasn’t going to be a six-months-to-a-year deployment. We weren’t going to Kosovo or Bosnia. It was going to be a realistic battle.
The mindsets changed because people recognized that you weren’t going to have years to prepare. Everyone was paying a little closer attention to the news to see exactly what was going to happen. We were all also paying a little closer attention to our training and I think the staff ratcheted that up, as well.
As patriotism grew throughout the country, people were actually more invigorated for their service than they were before because they saw it as something that was pure defense of American culture.
I give current Cadets more credit because they know what they’re getting into, and they’re still signing up for it. I think they’re more inspired for their service because of it. Their parents are a little bit more wary in some cases, but the students know what they’re getting into and they know they’re making an informed decision beforehand.
I work in the marketing department. We see the prospective students and their parents. A lot of the questions are like “what can we come to expect?” I say, well, if you asked me in 1997 when I visited West Point, I thought it was going to be a six-month deployment and it was not a big deal. Most people did five years and got out. Now I think people are more realistic to what’s coming and they’re actually inspired by the fact that they’re coming to West Point because they’re going to be part of something larger. I don’t know if we actually had that when we were coming in.
There’s more of a mission mindset now. West Point, I can say, is the one decision that has impacted my life the most and made me who I am today, and I still think it prepares you the best for life. I have no regrets, and I would definitely do it again.