You are here

In their own words: Brian LoRusso

U.S. Military Academy graduate Brian LoRusso grew up on Long Island in New York and was barely a teenager on Sept. 11, 2001. He was the captain of the Army lacrosse team that also included his younger brother, Larry. His two older brothers, Nick and Kevin, also played on the team before serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, respectively. Nick has been stationed at West Point for three years, working in the Department of Military Instruction. He teaches a military science class and is a course director. He’s also an officer representative for the men’s lacrosse team. Kevin got out of the Army two years ago and works for Otis Elevators in New York City. He was recently married. Larry just found out he is going to be promoted to captain. Brian is at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He is a captain and is working on the staff for the Field Artillery Captains Career Course, but will be leaving the Army within a year to begin a career in project management.

I was in seventh grade when it happened. I remember it vividly. I live on Long Island, so when it happened there were a lot of kids who were called out of school. A lot of parents worked in the World Trade Center. Some of my classmates lost parents. There were former students who were lost. My former teacher’s best friend was lost.

I knew people who lost their parents that day. There was a girl in my class who lost her dad. I had a small class – there were 215 kids – you knew everyone. In that way, I guess I did feel like this did hit a little harder for us than it did for other people.

By the end of the day, it was an empty school. I remember calling relatives living in Manhattan and they could see the smoke from the towers. I remember it very vividly, unfortunately.

I never actually made it down there (immediately after the attack). There were people in my class who did go down there to help. My mom wouldn’t let me. I was still young. I was only 13 years old. Now traveling to the city often, I’ve been by there a few times.

You really can’t describe it. You’re trying to figure out where everything was, how the buildings were positioned. I tried to remember what it looked like from seeing it when I was younger. It was hard to visualize how things were and you just see this empty area and you’re in awe of the situation. You get that goose bump feeling across your whole body. Not many words can describe it.

I have three brothers. My oldest brother, Nick, graduated high school in 2003 and went direct-admit to West Point. So he was one of the immediate classes to sign the commitment after we had declared war. I believe he was the second class to make the commitment during a time of war.

With my brother going, it instilled a little more patriotism in me. Then my other brother, Kevin, graduated from West Point in 2009 before serving in Afghanistan. My brother, Nick, served in Iraq.

I guess my brothers, more so, made me want to do it (come to West Point).

Everyone likes to argue their perspective on the war, but I still remember being attacked and I guess my whole thing does root back to that. Seeing 9/11. Remembering what that felt like and using that as my drive.

For me, (hearing that Osama bin Laden had been killed) brought the moment full circle. It was a very emotional time at the academy because there were a lot of people who were affected by it. Everyone was rejoicing together and chanting, “USA, USA!” People were singing the national anthem.

When it was announced, the academy pretty much stopped what it was doing and got together to discuss how they felt about it. It definitely was a full-circle feeling. A lot of us were talking about Sept. 11. It did bring it right back.

Seeing how it brought America together again was a great feeling. It really was something that was uplifting and that we got the person who was responsible for causing so much pain in the United States.