MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Mort Roghanchi remembers getting off the train at Penn Station on Sept. 11, 2001, and wondering why everyone was gathering around. He asked a young lady what was going on.
“A plane just hit the World Trade Center,” she said.
Roghanchi said it was a numbing day, seeing the smoke rising from lower Manhattan. His son, Neemah, then 13, was in his 8th grade class in New Jersey.
Neemah Roghanchi is now 25, and a Marine Corporal in Afghanistan on his second tour. He says that dark day 12 years ago was part of his inspiration to join the military.
“Our nation was under attack, and I watched the Marines mobilize on TV,” Roghanchi told WCCO Radio from Camp Leatherneck in Afghanistan. “As I grew older, and I kept watching it, I felt the need to go, and the need to serve my country.”
Mort Roghanchi, who’s an Iranian-American, says he’s proud of his son.
“This is his second tour, and this time around, he actually volunteered to go back,” Roghanchi said. “(But) it’ll be great to have him home.”
Cpl. Roghanchi is expected to return in October, where his wife is expecting their first baby boy in December. “That’s probably the most exciting thing for me right now: is working hard (in Afghanistan), and being able to come home to such a reward,” he said.