After 9/11: 50 dates that quietly changed America
Rick Hampson includes Kevin Mincio's story and the Team Jesse mission in USA Today Sept 11, 2001, the day that defined a decade, was followed by many red letter dates. On Oct. 7, 2001, U.S. troops invaded Afghanistan. Baghdad fell April 9, 2003. We remember when Saddam Hussein was caught (12/13/03) and Osama bin Laden was killed (5/2/11). (Terrorists hit Madrid 3/11/04, and London 7/7/05.)
But the decade since 9/11 also has a less obvious calendar of dates when history pivoted while we weren't looking.
This calendar is made up of hidden, overlooked, misunderstood, private or secret events, each related directly or indirectly to the attacks. Its dates, momentous and trivial, have shaped the nation in ways large and small.
2/21 Wall Street to Army
Enlistment day for Kevin Mincio, who at 31 is trading a Wall Street office and a beachfront house for a private's billet in the Army. Five months ago, Mincio stood at Liberty and Church streets in Lower Manhattan and watched a Boeing 767 hit the Trade Center. Now he wants to get out from behind a desk and do something about the crime he saw. He's an anomaly: Military enlistment doesn't increase much as a result of 9/11. Mincio serves until May 2005, including a tour in Iraq, then moves to Seattle and starts a new job. On the summer of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, in memory of a buddy killed in Iraq in 2007, he cycles coast-to-coast to raise money for families of fallen vets.