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Justin Sasso Army

Photo of Justin Sasso .

"When I joined, there were no wars, there was not even a thought of going to war with anybody...and then September 11 happened, and it's like, yeah, it's not going to be like that anymore."

Shortly after graduating high school, Justin Sasso decided to follow in his grandfather's footsteps and become a helicopter pilot in the Army. He enlisted in 1998 and began his military career as a helicopter mechanic. Three years later, he was selected for the Warrant Officer flight program, and sent to flight school to become a helicopter pilot. He joined the military without the expectation of fighting a war, but found that it quickly became imminent, as the attacks on September 11 would completely change the dynamics of his military career. Justin was in the process of transitioning from warrant officer school to flight school when the attacks occurred. He finished flight school and was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. A few months later he headed to Kuwait, before ultimately going to Iraq. Justin served 10 years in the Army, and completed two tours in Iraq. He suffers from PTSD, as well as back and neck problems resulting from his time in the service. He currently works as a helicopter pilot for a private charter company and is taking classes at Rutgers University.