Drew James was watching ESPN’s “SportsCenter” that shocking Tuesday morning. He was a 21-year-old soldier based at Fort Drum in northern New York. He switched channels in time to see the second plane crash into the World Trade Center. Black smoke rose from the North Tower that had already been hit.
Now 41, he said he knew right then, “OK, I’m going somewhere.”
James, who lives near Snohomish in the Machias area, soon learned at a briefing that Afghanistan would be that place. It was the first time he’d heard of Osama Bin Laden, architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
“We couldn’t even tell our families we were going,” James said. He was single at the time. Today, he’s a father of three who’s been married 15 years, and a past commander of VFW Post 7511 in Monroe.