News | Sept. 9, 2021

DLA Aviation employees remember 9/11: Roy Drake

By DLA Aviation Public Affairs Office

In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation Public Affairs Office is running a week-long series Sept. 6-11 telling the stories of DLA Aviation employees who remember where they were and what they were doing that fateful day.

Name: Roy Drake

Organization: DLA Aviation, Richmond, Virginia

What is your job title, and what do you do, specifically? I’m the deputy chief for the Customer Operations Directorate’s Marine Corps Customer Facing Division. I lead and manage teams supporting the mission, multiple military weapon systems, and tactical, operational and strategic military customers.

Please tell where you were and what you were doing on Sept. 11, 2001. On September 11, 2001, I was sitting on my bed in lodging in Monterey, California, preparing to move my family into housing around the end of my first semester at the Naval Postgraduate School.  As I was reading my emails, I realized that my family was glued to the TV. I realized after looking at the TV, the events on 9/11 were happening and were very tragic.

I felt an overwhelming desire to do something, so I sent an email to my counselor at the school and told him that if there were any opportunities to deploy and serve in a logistics capacity, I was willing to go. My family fully supported it. The next morning, there were a lot of students in my counselor’s office requesting to deploy as well. Shortly thereafter, I executed orders to Bahrain under the Joint Forces Maritime Component Command in October 2001. I served six months between my first and second semesters of Naval Postgraduate School.

While in Bahrain, the Naval Central Command Logistics Readiness Cell was established in support of 9/11 efforts, and I served as a section watch captain and logistics team lead. I returned to the U.S. after six months, then visited “ground zero” in New York City, and ultimately returned to Naval Postgraduate School to complete my Master’s in Business Administration. 

What can we do to ensure future generations never forget that fateful day? Convey value-added documentaries and show the history and events of 9/11 via electronic mechanisms/venues that future generations will be interested in viewing or reading. A visit to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York City would be another recommendation.