Dylan Cruz, student veteran and employee of the Student Veterans Resource Center at the University of Georgia

“When 9/11 happened, I was 8 years old. My parents sat me down and told me — from what I can remember — that things were going to be different, that things were going to change; they didn’t know what was going to happen. It was important to them that I understood things were going to change because my dad was in the military at the time.”

“I believe he joined the Air Force in 1991. He did end up being deployed; he went to Afghanistan and Iraq, and I know he was in Kuwait at one point. So that was probably the biggest impact on me — Dad wasn’t home. And you know, he was in the Air Force and he stayed on post, but being a little kid, you don’t know that, you just know your dad’s gone.”

“Seeing my dad go kind of cemented in my mind that it was something that I wanted to do. Because I looked up to my dad; he was my hero — wearing his camo, doing his cool Air Force-guy stuff. So I think from a young age, I knew this was something I wanted to do.”

Photo and interview by Sarah White as part of the Advanced Photojournalism course at the College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. 



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