Sue and William "Bill" Pollard last spoke to their son, U.S. Army Specialist Justin Pollard, on Christmas 2003.
"We talked about how he was coming around to the tail end of his tour, and I asked him if he had any plans for when he got home, and if he thought that being in Iraq had been worthwhile," Sue Pollard said. "He said to me, 'I truly believe in the reason why we are here and that our being here is for the greater good. This is where I need to be.'"
Five days later, he was killed by friendly fire in Iraq.
Justin Pollard was born 21 years earlier on Oct. 12, 1982, at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach. He signed up the day after 9/11 after watching the attacks live on TV with classmates at Irvine Valley College.
By joining the Army, he would become one of thousands of Americans spurred into action by the attacks that took place 10 years ago Sunday. Military recruitment gave him a "direction and a sense of purpose, which he had not had before," Sue Pollard said.