Every time Broward Sheriff's Deputy Aaron Moore makes a step, he takes with him the battle to stop those out to do America harm.
Moore’s journey to the battlefield in the Middle East began on 9/11 when he was a BSO Community Service Aid handling traffic accidents.
“I saw a lady crying at the pumps and that’s when she explained to me that the Pentagon had been hit, and I was like, 'What? What are you talking about?' And she said, 'Yeah, I think they hit one of the buildings in New York,'" Moore said.
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He then rushed to his BSO station.
“I actually witnessed the last plane hitting the building and then the towers coming down,” he recalled.
Days later, Moore had his Army infantryman fatigues on.
“October 1, we were activated and we were assigned to the airport — Miami International Airport, as well as Fort Lauderdale Airport, under Operation Noble Eagle,” Moore said.
After doing security checks at South Florida airports, Moore ultimately ended up in Iraq — the Pentagon out to make sure that there were no safe havens for terrorist groups to expand and plot more attacks similar to those on Washington and New York.
“I didn’t know what to think. It's like, pack all your gear, wheels up, and be at the unit,” Moore said.
Inside the BSO headquarters, there is a piece of steel that is actually from the World Trade Center. You see the markings there 9-11-01. It’s here to signify the sacrifice of BSO employees in the war on terror.
20 YEARS AFTER 9/11
Moore ended up overseas more than once, and in front of the 9/11 plaque, he recalled the day he was hurt. He only spoke after being nudged to speak up about that day,
“The IED blast threw me from the gunners turret to the back of the MRAP (mine resistant military vehicle) that I was in, which resulted in me injuring my shoulder and my knee requiring me to have surgery,” he said. “I am just here to be the voice of those who are no longer here. It’s a lot. It’s emotional for me 'cause I think about all we went through.”
With the 20-year mark of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks near, Moore has much to reflect on — especially with the way final days went for the U.S. in Afghanistan.
"It’s tough and then seeing what’s currently going on, it's real tough," he said. "We put our hearts into it. We went out there and we did what we had to do. I hope it's not being viewed as being in vain."
Something very important to Moore as his contribution to America comes with every step he takes.