Service member shows devotion in face of tragedy
August 31, 2011
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait, Aug. 31, 2011 -- 9/11. With nothing else being read or spoken, all types of emotions, feelings and memories are evoked. Few events are strong enough to bring an entire country together, yet the nation bonded as one during that faithful September morning in late 2001.
All Americans felt the effect of being attacked, but service members knew they were suddenly fighting a greater fight. For Capt. Hubert James Little III, 9/11 re-affirmed his commitment to service.
"I was in the middle of transitioning from the Air Force to becoming an officer in the Army," said Little, a Lawrenceville, Ga., native and combined operations and information center officer in charge, 3rd Medical Command (Deployment Support) Operational Command Post (Forward).
During his brief break in service while transitioning from the Air Force to the Army, Little was in the midst of waiting for his household goods to be delivered to his new home when he first heard of the attacks.
"I didn't have a TV at the time, but I was able to listen to some of the coverage on the radio," Little said. "After the events unfolded, I called my recruiter to speed up the process."
Despite committing to the Army during a turbulent time in U.S. history, Little was able to stay positive and see the light at the end of the tunnel.
"Being commissioned as an officer offered a great opportunity for me and my family," Little said. "I've always had a very supportive family."
Not even three months after the events of 9/11, Little officially became an Army officer. After a tour of duty in Hawaii with the Air Force, Little knew when he'd like to be commissioned in the Army as a second lieutenant.
"I was commissioned on Dec. 7, 2001," Little said. "I chose the date in memory of Pearl Harbor."
Since his commissioning, Little has spent numerous months outside the U.S., supporting a variety of missions throughout the world. Now on his fourth tour, Little is part of the Third Army team stationed at Camp Arfijan.
"I'm honored and grateful to serve with so many troops coming from various branches of our Armed Forces to support the Third Army mission here," said Little.
Interacting daily with a diverse group of service members gives Little the chance to work with all different ranks. However, he strives to treat all with dignity and respect.
"Capt. Little is a consummate professional who has the welfare of the soldiers, above and beneath him, as his top priority," said Maj. Morgan Brantley, military intelligence officer, Office of the Secretary of Defense.
Nearing his 19th year serving his country, Little could begin taking the steps necessary to retire from the service. However, the Lawrenceville native won't soon be turning in his Army Combat Uniforms.
"I love what I do too much to retire," Little said. "I am more committed than ever after seeing the Third Army mission."
Third Army's mission is to be ready tonight, sustain the fight and shape the future of our forces. Little gets a gratifying feeling from his duty.
"I am very appreciative of joining the Third Army team," Little said. "I volunteered for this deployment, and I am very grateful to be here and serve the mission."
As far as plans for this upcoming Sept. 11, Little doesn't have anything set in stone, but says he does plan to honor the day.
"I want to be part of any 9/11 events held here," Little said.
On Sept. 11, 2001, thousands of people had their lives come to a tragic end. Thousands more will forever remember the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and the field in Pennsylvania. Ten years have passed, two wars were started and hundreds of thousands of brave Americans have signed their name on the dotted line to join the military, but those killed on 9/11 will never be forgotten.
"I will never take for granted the lives lost and impact we experienced, and continue to experience, due to that horrific day," said Little.