MTV News today recounts how Matt Gallagher (’05) will remember 9/11. Gallagher was a first-year student who had stayed up playing video games in his Wake Forest dorm room the night before the attacks. The attacks meant that “in many ways, the world as we knew it was ending,” he told MTV News. In 2010 he said the terrorist attacks and the Wake Forest motto of Pro Humanitate led him to join the Army.
Gallagher gained notoriety as a veteran and a popular Iraq War blogger whose battalion commander ordered him to shut down his blog. The controversy, which made national news, led to a book deal. “Kaboom: Embracing the Suck in a Savage Little War” is Gallagher’s memoir of his time in Iraq and the subject of a Wake Forest Magazine story (see the Fall 2010 issue at www.magazine.wfu.edu).
Here’s an excerpt from the MTV News piece: “As a then 18-year-old whose life was profoundly changed by 9/11, Gallagher said the attacks served as a ‘maturity moment’ during a crossroads in his life. “On a macro level, all of a sudden I realized this world is a very serious place, terrible things can happen,” he said. “Evil people do exist, as much as I want to ironically laugh at the simplicity of that statement.
“Deciding to join the Army and deploy was part of his journey, one Gallagher suspects was a small tile in a much larger mosaic of life-changing choices. ‘On a bigger level, 9/11 was a crystallizing moment for my generation … the bubble popped. We were like, ‘Whoa, this is what the real world is like, it’s not all fun and games.’ ”
To mark the 9/11 anniversary, he said he would remember “my fallen friends, 1st Lt. Mark Daily and Capt. David Schultz, for their sacrifice, their humor and their service.”