DVIDS – News – 9/11 Changed the Career Path of an Army Reserve Officer

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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. — Twenty-one-year-old Timothy Booker was on his way to an internship at a law firm. When he arrived, a paralegal assistant asked him if he had watched the news.

“She (the paralegal) said I should go home and watch the news,” Booker said.

When he got home, he saw the second plane flying into the south tower of the World Trade Center.

It was Tuesday, September 11, 2001.

“I thought it was a movie. I didn’t think it could be real. I was in disbelief,” Booker said.

Booker, like many Americans that day, quickly realized the nation was under attack.

“The attacks deeply disturbed me. They were innocent people. They woke up thinking it would be a normal day and they were murdered,” Booker said. “I was very angry about the attacks. Anger was my strongest emotion.

At the time, the youngster from Grambling, Louisiana was attending Louisiana Tech University to complete his college football career. A history student who is using his final year to become a lawyer. Graduation from college was just months away.
But in the days after the attacks, Booker and a friend watched the news and talked about joining the military.

“My friend was going to join the Army Reserve with me,” Booker said. “We set a date to go to the recruiting station, but he said he had other things to do.”

Booker went to the appointment alone and told the recruiter he wanted to become a paralegal specialist and took the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery Test on September 17, less than a week after the attacks.

“I didn’t get the score I wanted (on ASVAB), but my relationship with my recruiter was very good. I told him I wanted to take over ASVAB,” Booker said.

On October 17, exactly 30 days later, Booker took over ASVAB and improved his score. But then another obstacle stood in his way.
“The job I wanted, a paralegal specialist, didn’t open for six months,” he said.

The young man insisted on working as a paralegal specialist.

“I started talking to other recruiters about the military entrance processing station. My recruiter wasn’t happy about that,” Booker said.

Booker’s recruiter spoke with the MEPS guidance counselor and found another military occupational specialty, Registered Vocational Nurse.

“My recruiter said it was one of the best jobs in the Army Reserve,” Booker said. “He said it was going to change my life. I told my recruiter that I would take the job.

Booker knew his parents would be upset by his decision to leave college.

“So I joined the Army Reserve before I told my parents,” Booker said.

He even guessed his choice to serve in the army.

“I was supposed to graduate from college in February 2002, (but) I was graduating from basic training when I should have graduated from college,” Booker said. “Everyone knew I was preparing to graduate. All my friends thought I was crazy.

But a new adventure was beginning. Booker remained on active duty for two years to complete the basic medical course and the first phase of LVN training at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, and the second phase at Fort Lewis, Washington. He was assigned to the 94th General Hospital in Bossier City, Louisiana.

“I had the full enlistment experience and it made me humble. I wouldn’t change it for the world,” Booker said.

He continued his military career earning a master’s degree in health care administration and serving as a medical service corps officer. He became a commissioned officer, by direct commission, in 2007 and joined the Active Guard and Reserve Program in 2008. He also served in the Air Force Reserve from 2004 to 2007 as an Air Force Technician. public health at Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City, Louisiana. .

Today, Booker holds the rank of Major in the U.S. Army Reserve and is Assistant Inspector General in the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Army Reserve’s 85th Sustainment Command. At the Command Combat Assembly in September, on the twenty-first anniversary of 9/11, he reflected on the decision he had made to join the Army Reserve more than 20 years ago. year.

“I remember thinking that was a watershed moment in American history. When my grandchildren ever ask me what I did on 9/11, I mean I acted.







Date taken: 13.09.2022
Date posted: 13.09.2022 17:56
Story ID: 429250
Location: ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL, USA






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