By Associated Press
September 12, 2019

(NEW YORK) — Sept. 11, 2001 has always been part of Tierney Crutcher’s life story. It was the day her mother went into labor with her.

And Sept. 11 was a life-changing day for Crutcher again this year: She was sworn in as a Navy seaman recruit at a Tennessee recruiting station Wednesday, two days shy of turning 18.

In this photo provided by the Commander Navy Recruiting Command of the United States Navy, Tierney Crutcher is sworn into the U.S Navy as a Navy seaman recruit, in Memphis, Tenn., on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, two days shy of her 18th birthday.
AP—AP

The Memphis high school graduate and accomplished bowler grew up in an America at war. She says as a kid, she thought the military was only the Army and shooting people. A military career became appealing as she learned more about the different branches and choices.

Crutcher says she’s excited to meet new people, travel “and just get a different experience in life.” She’s headed to boot camp, then sonar technician training.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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