HomeNewsCommentariesDisplay

What's your 9/11 story? Staff Sgt. Julian Loza

Staff Sgt. Julian S. Loza, 162nd Fighter Wing, Tucson, Ariz. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Dave Neve)

Staff Sgt. Julian S. Loza, 162nd Fighter Wing, Tucson, Ariz. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Dave Neve)

TUCSON, Ariz. -- I was stationed at Osan Air Base on Sept. 11, 2001, as an A-10 crew chief. A couple of buddies and I were in Thailand on leave eating dinner when another tourist asked if we were Americans.

I thought it was kind of weird until he said that four planes were unaccounted for and one had hit a building in New York. The tourist was an Eastern Canadian and was concerned for his relatives. He asked if we knew anything.

Scrambling to a TV, we saw the videos of the planes hitting the buildings. We called back to our base in Korea and were allowed to finish out our vacation since we were leaving the next day anyway.

When we returned to Osan, the normally busy town of Songton in front of the base was a ghost town. Every store was closed down and only military police patrolled the streets. As we entered the base, it was like a ghost town as well. Koreans do most of the work at non-essential services such as restaurants, store clerks, and taxi drivers; they were not allowed on the base. Because our dorms were a mile away, a security forces Airman gave us a ride.

The next day we reported to work. We worked 12-hour, rotating shifts for the next week. Our meals were MRE's for several days before the chow hall was reopened. For about a month after the attack no one was allowed off base.