Q: Where were you in September 2001?
Wardp – A.D. I graduated from Cape Henlopenne High School in 1999 and enlisted in the Army, assigned to the 3rd Ranger Battalion, 75th Battalion, Fort Bening, Georgia. I recently graduated from Ranger School and in the summer became the leader of a gun team in Bravo’s 2nd Plan. In September, our battalion had a ready-made task force (rotated between the three Ranger battalions), which means we must be able to respond to any threat in any part of the world within 18 hours. So, we have already packed our bags.
Q: What happened to you on September 11, 2001?
Wardp – After PT in the morning [physical training] And for breakfast I went to the company’s headquarters and some of my co-workers were setting up a TV in CQ [charge of quarters] They were talking about the first plane that hit the area and the towers. I was watching live TV when the second plane hit, and we knew we had been attacked by someone. I think I remember this; That’s why we trained. There was no doubt in my mind that we would go to war somewhere; I still do not know where he is. I was worried about my family, and I was worried about the American people. At that time, I felt very poor because they could not do anything to stop it. I tried to call my mother and grandmother, but I had to leave a message that I did not know when to speak to them. It was only a few months later that I finally got to talk to them and let them know I was fine. I did not know what had happened to my uncle, who was working at the Pentagon. The plane crashed near the office, but it was safe and helped to release it that day. 9/11 was a tragedy for the country and, of course, a tragedy for me. To this day, in the ensuing conflict, he sets up a series of attacks and puts me on the brink of war in response to years of terrorist attacks.
Q: You were part of the invasion of Afghanistan. What was your experience there?
Wardp – We were immediately preparing to enter Afghanistan and set off from the small island of Oman. After two weeks of bombings in Afghanistan, ground forces, including our battalions, entered the air force. The first two war-related deaths were accompanied by Rangers-Spc. John Edmunds and PFC. Christofo Stonsfer – died in a helicopter crash in Pakistan while setting up a return point. I knew both; John and I became team leaders at Bravo. When your friends start to die, it really makes things faster for you. I knew that I would die any day. I felt the weight of the moment in history and what our mission was. It made me more determined; I wanted to hit back at people who hurt us, and I didn’t want to stop my men.
Q: How long have you been in Afghanistan?
Wardp – I was there for several months during the invasion, after which I made a second visit to the provinces shortly thereafter. In November 2001, I parachuted into Afghanistan and guarded a desert airport, unloading several helicopters that destroyed several terrorist camps, and took part in another night raid. Then we reloaded the helicopters on the C-17s and we all went back to base before the sun came up. My second visit was to the mountains near the Pakistani border and to the Kabul and Kanhar suburbs.
Q: Are you also in Iraq?
Wardp – That’s right, a vacation in the states between visits is twice as many months. I was part of the invading force that was responsible for seizing the Hadita Dam, a priority strategic property. Our company was awarded the Valorous Unit Award for that mission. We were armed for several days, but during the war he was a key figure in the formation of the Northwest Front. The mission on the dam was later featured in the short story “Live Speech” on the Channel 4.
Q: Why did you leave the army in 2003?
Wardp – I had planned to do military service, but the constant deployment was very stressful for my family. Also, I had some preconceived notions about how wars should be fought. Once I felt that my heart was not 100 percent behind the mission, I knew it was time to say goodbye. But I and my comrades loved Rangers, and I never regretted serving. It was a better job than ever. It is a very demanding job, and I have a lot of respect for the men and women who work in it.
Q: What did you do after you left the army?
Wardp – I had many unusual jobs and took two college courses in Atlanta for about a year before returning to Delaware. I worked for a degree in partnership with Dell Tech and got a job as a field technician for a natural resource management company in Sussex County. Then
Q: What brought you to UD?
Wardp – I did research on the United States Energy and Environment Policy, and I liked the diversity of the program, so I focused on energy, economics, and public policy. I initially took a few courses part-time and eventually became a full-time student and earned my undergraduate degree in 2017. After being a full-time student and working with many great people in Yudi, I was actually baptized in the campus bureaucracy. . Next I got my master’s degree in public administration in 2020. During the MPA program, I worked at the Institute of Public Administration to help establish the Delaware Master Natural Program, and was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Delaware, and a member of the local government for Rehobot Beach. I am currently a capital budget analyst in the state of Maryland.
Q: How did you get involved with student-veteran military groups in UDI?
Wardp – As a graduate, I found another veterinarian needed to conduct the SVA in the USA. I finally helped get Blue Hen to Veterans and Friends (BHFF) 501 (c) (3), and since 2019 I have been the President of the Board of Directors of BHVF. It brought a lot of fond memories of my service and fond memories of my transition [from the military to student life], And I thought, ‘Hey, maybe I could do a little better for the next patriot who comes to UD as a student.’ Sometimes veterinarians feel uncertain about the success of the class and the transfer of their military skills to the academic setting and civil profession. But patriots are often very focused on their academic goals and doing well at the university. What is often lacking is their social network. Therefore, the main objectives of the BHVF are to assist in the communication of student patriots. As soon as that basic network of friends has support, it opens up their college experience. They are no longer just an individual on the campus, they are part of the community.
Q: How have they changed in the last 20 years?
Wardp – Now I am more grateful, I am more humble, and I feel more comfortable because I don’t feel comfortable if that makes sense. At some point in my life, I remember my friends and my dead Rangers friends. There is not a day that I do not think about them. No matter how anxious or depressed I may be, I have come here to at least have those feelings. I think of them with joy. I am grateful for the experiences I have had in my life and for being where I am today.
Q: What are the lasting effects of 9/11 and its consequences on the nation?
Wardp – Now everyone is talking about Afghanistan, but no one talked about it three months ago, and in fact, I doubt they will talk about Afghanistan a month later. As long as we don’t worry about where we are going to wage war around the world, our country is numb, people seem to have lost their minds. And that is as dangerous for us as it is for us not to warn the world about our military might. I hope it is an education for us as a country, but I find it difficult to say we will do better in the future. God, I hope we can.