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The Day Before 9/11 [Kindle Edition]

Tucker Elliot
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (170 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A harrowing true story that spans America’s first decade in the war on terror, The Day Before 9/11 portrays in riveting detail the sacrifices made by military families serving overseas and the enduring pain that accompanies the tragic loss of life.

In Korea, a soldier’s daughter is jetlagged and lost in her new school. In Germany, a military family welcomes the birth of a second child. In the aftermath of 9/11, both families will fight the war on terror—the dads, moms, and kids.

Editorial Reviews


"The Day Before 9/11 ... A potpourri of images, a mosaic of feelings and emotions that takes the reader on a journey of sacrifice, pain, loss, triumph, relationships, and hopefully redemption. Tucker Elliot's experiences as a coach, teacher, son, role model and most importantly, as a human being are a great example of the undeniable challenge the human spirit undergoes in the pursuit of excellence, in the pursuit of being relentless, and the difficulty it encounters in the complexity of living in the reality of a new normal; in the aftermath of tragedy, both global but more importantly, personal."
- Ricardo Buitrago, Ph. D., Psychologist, Department of Defense Dependents Schools, Germany

From the Author

The Day Before 9/11 is a true story.

Nothing I learned in college or experienced as a teacher in upstate South Carolina or rural Florida prepared me for being a Department of Defense teacher on a U.S. military installation in Korea in the aftermath of 9/11.

Parents began deploying. Kids started spiraling in a bad way. We all felt stressed and anxious, living in a foreign country under the constant threat of terrorist reprisals as our military took action in Afghanistan. Then one morning a Chaplain walked into our school and everything got worse. We lost eight guys from our small military community.

All teachers experience student-related tragedies - it's inevitable when you cross paths with hundreds, even thousands of kids, year after year. You expect that one day it will happen, but until I saw that Chaplain walk into my school I never lived in fear of it.

I was a teacher, coach, and athletic director, and I was used to students trusting me with their problems, coming to me for advice, and looking to me for help - but in the aftermath of 9/11 it was overwhelming, and suffocating, because it was pretty simple logic: I teach military kids. Our military is at war. My kids are going to suffer.

And they did, in ways I could never have imagined were possible.

As America observed the ten-year anniversary of 9/11, our military families continued to serve overseas, sacrificing every day in defense of everything that is good and honorable about our country. The events in The Day Before 9/11 are true. They are horrific, and it was painful to write - but it's my hope that by telling this story I can honor our kids who serve and sacrifice overseas every day alongside their military parents.

Product Details

  • File Size: 369 KB
  • Print Length: 142 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Black Mesa Publishing (March 26, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00C10MB36
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #542,836 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Amazing April 18, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Day Before 9/11
Tucker Elliot

Sadly, many generations are marked by some tragedy that stains the fabric of our existence and leads good people to doubt, to question everything they thought they knew.

For most living Americans, our tragedy is 9/11, a common thread so profound that you can ask anyone where they were, or what they were doing, and without hesitation, they know the answer.

Tucker Elliot's perspective is fresh, that of a teacher and coach, stationed overseas, educating the sons and daughters of our service members. A regular guy caught in a situation that's far from regular.

When terror strikes, leaving confusion and doubt in the aftermath, it's a test unlike anything Elliot had experienced. He doesn't have time to figure it out for himself, overwhelmed though he is. No, he must be that proverbial rock for the children of those in uniform who will soon be in harm's way.

It isn't easy--he is plagued with questions--he doubts himself. He exhibits all of those things that make us human. Twelve years later, some of those doubts still linger. They shouldn't, but they do, a product of our stolen innocence, no doubt.

With uncommon clarity and emotional depth, Tucker Elliot has taken the magnifying glass and given us a close, true-to-life account of military families and the confusion and triumphs and losses surrounding them after 9/11.

This is a book for everyone; however, this is the quintessential 9/11 book for military families and anyone connected to them.

I have faithfully served our country for nearly 19 years; my family serves along with me. This is our story. This is our book.

Our thanks to you, Mr. Elliot, for an incredibly moving account of 9/ assured you have honored the kids.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I don't even know where to begin... March 31, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
The day that is burned into every Americans heart, mind and soul is a unique one because each of us can look back and remember what we were doing when tragedy struck. And whether we were riding the bus, sitting in class, driving to work, or watching TV on the couch, we were united. United in the moment of what we had lost as a nation and as fellow human beings. We share that history and it's for that reason that you will be captivated by this book. About his story and how 9/11 was a marker not only in our country's life but in his. This book is really great because it is easy to understand. It's easy to understand the tragedy and pain, and commiserate with the feeling of burden and guilt. If you can't relate through any kind of experience then he most surely makes it so you can relate through his writing. His insight into the military family and schools is unique and should not be passed up. He honors every DoDDs student and military child by opening up about his personal history and encounters. This book shows that it's not easy serving overseas. Whether you're a soldier, wife, husband, child or teacher; you sacrifice stability and the lives of those in your community for the protection and defense of this country. It's a great portrayal of how every member in the military and their family is a hero. It really does show how teaching children, especially those in our military, is a hard and honorable profession and I give Tucker Elliot my sincerest thanks for his work and allowing us into his weakest and strongest moments.

On a more personal note, this man was my Eighth grade U.S. History teacher over in Germany and he was the best. Nobody since has come anywhere's near being the inspiration and role-model that he was for me.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving must-read October 6, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This story is such a moving account of a teacher's life after 9/11. It delves into a world that many Americans don't even know exists. The author was a teacher for a Department of Defense school in Korea when terrorists attacked America. His resulting emotions and experiences are a roller coaster. It seems the hopes of his high school soccer season can provide healing for both he and his students, and it does. But for the author and his life it goes so much deeper.

Alongside the soccer story is the relationships with a number of students whose parents are repeatedly deployed. The kids struggle with the separation and fear, and look for somebody to cling to. The author wants to be that somebody, and he is, but then again he isn't. He is dealing with his own struggles.

His relationship with two students, Sami and Angel, is inspiring and heartbreaking, and the ending left me in tears. I don't know who should read this book, teachers for sure, people dealing with the pain of losing loved ones should read it as well, and I guess anybody who wants to have a better understanding of the impact 9/11 and the resulting wars have had on our military families.

This book is so honest and so moving. It is going to stay with me for a long time.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A son for a flag March 31, 2013
By Meg
Format:Kindle Edition
A son for a flag is a lot of sacrifice. This is a sobering account reminding us of the sacrifices made by our military families. While sharing his haunting tales of what he perceives to be great failures of self and system, Elliot affirms that the children and spouses of our military personnel are forgotten, silent casualties at home while war wages on overseas. Also revealed is the manner in which our teachers subsidize our children's confidence and self-esteem with tiny pieces of themselves, bit by bit, eroding away ever so slowly at the stoic facades often required by such leaders.

It is a brave divulging of a bitter and painful veracity.

Elliot's frankness and honesty in recounting these events are admirable in their own right. He succeeds in depicting the stories of these less obvious, less notarized victims of war, yet he has not succeeded in forgiving himself for as he feels, failing to save Angel, Grace, and Sami. It is a somber story of a teacher and a leader who loses himself in a valiant effort to defend and save his students...and one of someone who manages to come out the other side to tell about it. That survival is a victory in itself and should be applauded along with this brave telling of his own harrowing truth. He has succeeded in giving the confusion, the anger, the pain, and the helplessness a voice. Yet he has not yet forgiven himself. Will Elliot succeed in doing so? Time has yet to tell.

I thought that it was telling. I felt it was honest, painful, and brave. And I thought that it was great.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars This was a quick read and a book so easy to relate to. please tell me...
I am a teacher and hope that I will be able to see signs if I need to. It can be so hard for children, especially our soldiers' children. Thank you for sharing.
Published 7 days ago by Jill
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!
I could not put this book down. I had to read to completion. May we never lose sight of all that was given up for our country. Thanks, Tucker, for sharing your feelings with us.
Published 1 month ago by Linda Meyer
3.0 out of 5 stars not what I expected
This book is not what I expected. Didn't think it would be something like this. Goes to show you, you never know what someone is going thru!!!
Published 3 months ago by Blueeyes
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Liked it
Published 4 months ago by Lloyd A. Rhoades
5.0 out of 5 stars The Day Before 9/11 is moving and well-written.
A moving and well-written book which draws our attention to the price of service we often don't pay enough attention to - that paid by the families of the men and women who serve... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Penman
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good read
Published 5 months ago by Ronald A
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Maybe it was just me but I found it hard to keep up with it at times.
Published 5 months ago by granny
5.0 out of 5 stars A Day in a Life
A well written account of life pre and post 9/11 by the perspective of a teacher who teaches on military bases across the world. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Sbetancourt
4.0 out of 5 stars Average
The author tells a tale of sadness and sorrow, haunted by regrets. We all look back at our past and wish for.a redo. I enjoyed the story. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Timothy Sterling
2.0 out of 5 stars gave a nice perspective from foreign based US personnel but not what...
gave a nice perspective from foreign based US personnel but not what I expected. Thought it was more about the US and how things are different now.
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
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More About the Author

Tucker Elliot is a former high school athletic director, varsity baseball coach, and college professor. He is now a fulltime writer residing in Tampa, FL.

Tucker's ebook The Day Before 9/11 was released in March 2013. A harrowing true story that spans America's first decade in the war on terror, The Day Before 9/11 portrays in riveting detail the sacrifices made by military families serving overseas and the enduring pain that accompanies the tragic loss of life.

Tucker has written two ebooks related to The Day Before 9/11 that will be released by Black Mesa Publishing in November 2014: The Memory of Hope and The Rainy Season.

In April 2012, Tucker's second book on his home town Braves was released. Dale Murphy, one of Tucker's boyhood heroes, wrote the foreword to Atlanta Braves: An Interactive Guide to the World of Sports.

In total he has authored or contributed to more than 40 sports related books, including New York Yankees IQ, Major League Baseball IQ, Cincinnati Reds IQ, and Tampa Bay Rays IQ (with MLB pitcher Andy Sonnanstine).

In addition to his books, Tucker is a cowriter for the screenplays "Shedding Baggage" and "The Home Stretch."

His current project is working with former professional baseball player Tony Stevens on his memoir. Stevens gave up a baseball career to join the Marines after 9/11.

You can visit Tucker on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, or contact him via email:

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