On September 11th, 2001, Joslin Joseph planned to be at the World Trade Center during his summer break from Ohio State University. He and his friend planned to visit the city one last time before going back to school. His friend, Rich, an amateur photographer, hoped to try out his new telephoto lens and they planned to leave at 7 AM to the Port Authority then to the World Trade Center.
But on September 10th, Rich called and asked to leave later in the morning. By the time Joslin woke up and had breakfast, the first plane struck the North Tower. They drove to Garrett Mountain Reservation and saw their first glimpse of a clear blue sky with plumes of black smoke. From the parking area, they walked up a short trail to the overlook, where a man ran down, and as Joseph said, “This is seared in my memory. A guy came running down, literally pulling his hair out. He yelled, ‘The towers came down! The towers came down!’”
Just as police came to close the overlook, Joslin witnessed the second tower falling. After volunteering to take medical supplies into New York City and returned to Ohio for school. He soon dropped out of college and decided to join the military and was determined when the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003.
“I was very convinced that we were doing the right thing and that we were going to solve this problem. I thought we were really going to put an end to this and be part of something big that would help transform that whole region and make the world safer.”
He enlisted in the Marine Corps and fought for a deployment as he was assigned to an administrative role. He was sent on a combat mission to Iraq in 2007, and left the military as a corporal in 2008.