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Maryland Man Inspired to Re-Enlist After Events of 9/11

Updated: Tuesday, September 17 2013, 12:53 PM EDT

The tragic events of September 11, 2001 inspired many into service. One Maryland man felt compelled to re-enlist after nearly two decades out of uniform.

Sfc Joe Bowser was an Army soldier in the 80s, but was 41-years-old and a mailman at the time of the terrorist attacks. He said that day's events forever changed his life.

"The more I thought about it, the more ticked off I was getting," he said. "I felt like I needed to do something."

Joe re-enlisted in the US Army reserve. Two years later he was in Iraq, fighting alongside teenagers. "My battle buddy was Virginia Wang," Joe said. "She was 18 years old. From Hawaii. It was like having my daughter with me."

On April 12, 2004 Joe's life was even more drastically altered. He was at US camp when he heard an incoming rocket. It landed right behind him. Joe sustained severe injuries and was given a chance at keeping his lower right leg with no feeling, or amputation.

Joe said he choice was easy.

"The first thing I thought was I wanted to play hockey again, so I guess I had my leg cut off so I can play hockey," Joe said.

Even after 14 years as a soldier and a leg amputation, Joe was still not done serving his country. He gets up and goes to work every day in Arlington, near the Pentagon. And Joe has passed along his legacy of patriotism. After he was wounded, his oldest son joined the Army.

Maryland Man Inspired to Re-Enlist After Events of 9/11


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