06/22/2012 10:51 am ET

G.I. Janes

As a senior in college in 2001, I was coming out of a morning class when I passed a television and saw two planes crash into the Twin Towers. That was the day I decided to join the military.

I look back on that sunny September day, after two deployments and eight years in the military, and realize how naïve I was. Things then were black and white. After deployment, you realize there is no such thing as black and white. Just various shades of gray you try to sort through and understand.

Read more on The New York Times