Lincoln resident fighting war on terror

By: Carol Feineman, Editor
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Cameron Reid was 11 and a sixth grader when 9/11 - the first terrorist attack from foreigners held in the United States - took away our naivety. Reid doesn’t remember much about that unprecedented September day 10 years ago. That day, though, adults across the world stayed glued to their TV sets and listened to radio broadcasts to find out more about the four hijacked airplanes used as weapons of mass destruction. Today, 10 years later, Reid will fight in the resulting war and risk his life every day he is deployed in Afghanistan. Enlisting in the Marines in October, 2009, Reid leaves for Afghanistan in March to be on the front line. As a child, Reid did not dream of serving in the military. The 2008 Lincoln High School graduate planned to go directly to college from high school. “In high school, I never imagined I’d fight a war. My best friend joined his senior year and I told him he was stupid,” Reid reminisced Friday while visiting his parents in Lincoln. “I told him I’d never do it; that I was going to go to school. But going to college, I thought there was something bigger.” For a short time in between college and enlisting, Reid helped his mother, Mina Rahimi-Reid, open Mina’s Coffee House in Lincoln Hills. Now the Lincoln resident, who never held a gun before boot camp, will soon be deployed to Afghanistan. “This is my first time in a war zone. I’m a little scared but we’re kind of excited,” Reid said. “That’s what we trained for and we get to do what we trained for. We’re going to one of the more dangerous areas, one of the more hostile areas, for six months to do what we do.” His responsibilities will be to “provide a lot of intelligence.” “I'll look at trends and tactics of the Taliban from reports,” Reid said. “I'll also go out on patrols twice a week to see what’s going on so I can evaluate the information.” Most of the Marines are ready for that day in March when they fly to Afghanistan. “The only thing they’re worried about is their families,” Reid said. “If something was to happen to me, I’m not afraid but I won’t want to be on the other end, the family’s side.” His mother is hoping that the U.S. leaves Afghanistan before March. “Right now, I’m not really thinking about it, thinking maybe things will change,” Mina Rahimi-Reid said. “But he says, ‘Mom, we’re going.’ When I watch the news, I hope maybe they’ll pull everyone out. I just go day by day.” As for the Marine, he had a simple request on how the Lincoln community can support military personnel. “Pray for all of them, especially those in the war zone,” Reid said. “Toys for Tots help the military families. As for us, we just need the prayers and good hopes and support so we can do what we do.” And while the 10-year anniversary has recently been a hot topic in national media and in conversations among Lincoln residents as well, that’s not the conversation Reid’s peers have. His fellow Marines don’t need conversations about the consequences of 9/11; they’re living it. “No one really talks about it. No one really says anything about it,” Reid said. “We’re there because of the War on Terror. Now we’re trying to get out. From my unit, everyone thinks we’ll stay there for awhile.” During his time in the Marines, Reid has learned that more understanding is needed by all sides. “We’re doing what we can do,” Reid said. “I’m in an Afghan culture/language course and learning the reasons behind the Taliban’s’ actions. It’s not all Afghans.” Tolerance is needed for all peoples. “A lot of people have hatred. It’s not all Middle Eastern people that are responsible for anything going on. Just a few are continuing the terrorism,” Reid said. “Some Americans have a thing about Middle Eastern people. I did too but I’ve learned a lot. It was just a select few in 9/11.”