Unsung Heros

Latianna Wilson

Sergeant Latianna Wilson is a Wounded Warrior who served two tours of duty in Iraq. She is a tireless and outspoken advocate for the rights of wounded veterans and those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD).

QUESTION: Why did you join the military?
LATIANNA WILSON: I joined the military because my father was in the military, and my mother joined the military around 1977, I believe it was around the women's WAC. So it was just something I always wanted to do. And throughout high school I was in the JROTC program for four years, so I knew that was where I was going. And when 9/11 happened, I was ready to go, because I lived in New Jersey, and I actually got to see the twin towers as they fell because I stayed that close. And when I seen it, I said, now is a better time to go than any. So I left and I went.

QUESTION: A call to patriotism?
LATIANNA WILSON: Yes, I actually did because I had a scholarship to go to college, but I didn't want to go to college, I wanted to do something, I wanted to be like my mother or like my father, so once 9/11 happened, I knew that's where I wanted to be.

QUESTION: You actually saw the towers fall. Can you tell me about that?
LATIANNA WILSON: The way I seen it, I wasn't per se in front of the twin towers, but where I went to school in New Jersey, you could see the twin towers from the hill, and I could just see the smoke coming from the buildings as the first plane hit. I was in the library and I did see it on the news and then we went outside because we all were being dismissed because the town was in sheer chaos, you know, none of the phones worked, all the traffic lights stopped working, and we just stood outside and we just watched. And when I seen it, it was just like watching a movie. I didn't think that could happen in America at all.

QUESTION: Tell me about that. What were you feeling when you saw that?
LATIANNA WILSON: When I seen it I felt scared. I was in shock. I did not believe it was happening. I mean, New York City, you don't expect that to happen in New York. You expect that somewhere other than America, period. So, when I seen it, I went home, I talked to my mother, I told her I was going to go ahead and join the Army. She didn't want me to, because of what was going on, but I told her it was going to be okay, because the impression that I had was that females weren't going to have to be in combat, that I was going to go and be a nurse or something of that sort, a medic. So that was my very first impression. And that was why I went. But I got a shock when I went.

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