Monday, May 2, 2011

September 10th, 2001

Let me paint a picture (kinda like Sophia in Golden Girls...Which is my fav show btw):

Anywhere, USA September 10th, 2001-

I am 19 years old (about to turn 20), living in my first apartment with my then husband, a US Navy Sailor. We were stationed in Mayport Navel Station, Florida (Just outside Jacksonville) on board the the USS John F. Kennedy CV67 (I cant believe I remember that). Life was pretty good as I remember it. The economy was stable as it could be, gas was just over $1.00 a gallon, jobs were easy to find, the unemployment rate was only 4% and not almost 10% like it is now, we didn't worry about being felt up by TSA. you didn't need 153 documents to prove who you are, the USA PATRIOT Act was unheard of, you could shop at the off base commissary without heavily armed guards outside. We felt somewhat safe. 

September 11, 2001-

My husband leaves this morning for a 30 day deployment to gear up for the their 6 months Mediterranean cruise.

9:10am. I will never ever forget this moment in my life. My close friend calls, she's in hysterics. Something about a plane hitting the Twin Towers, don't know where our husbands ship is, people jumping. All the lines are clogged, I cant get a hold of my mom in Fort Myers. People are picking up their children because most of them are military families. I'm like a bot most of that day. Shock. Scared for my husbands safety. I don't think I heard a single word from him for about a week. They shut down email, phones, etc...They were half way across the world now, instead of just in the Atlantic.

Things instantly changed. You had to have 2 forms of ID to get onto base. They stopped every single car. You can tell things were so...tight, locked up on base. Most of the ships were gone. The world in it self seemed quiet, lost. It was very eerie the next morning. 

This is what I remember most about those days. 

Fast forward to today. Real Estate crash. Cape Coral has the highest foreclosures in the nation. There's no jobs. People that have spent thousands on education have degrees they cant even use. Stuck in jobs with no advancement  no raises, no moral. Stuck with student loans they cant pay. People losing their homes, crime goes up, poverty goes up and moral goes waaaaaaaay down.

My husband will graduate in 35 days with a Master's degree. A $40,000 education. He hasn't had a raise in 3 1/2 years. He also hasn't had a promotion. We are told their will be no raises until at LEAST 2013. They are raising our insurance premiums.  This happens everyday in this country. How are the everyday people like us supposed to make it? My husband did everything the way he was "supposed" to. He got an education, dedicated himself to his school work. It has gotten him no where. How long can we all hold on? Gas is nearly $4.00 a gallon. Milk is close behind at $3.00. Yet, our paychecks never grow. The only thing that keeps me going is knowing one day, when it gets better, all these men and women that have spent all this time getting degrees will be the first ones to land great jobs and opportunities. But until then, how do we keep our heads above water? How much can we "cut back"? It's so sad that THIS is what our children will have.

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