On that fateful day I was at work at my IT support job in Northern VA at the time I was a volunteer EMT with local fire rescue in prince William county VA. I heard about the first plane hitting the WTC and then the second. I knew then something was really wrong. One plane is an accident two is a plot. Then there is the pentagon. Shortly after the pentagon was hit I got the call on my cellphone trying to gather up any available volunteers and some career staff to go north to assist. Initially we were told we would be filling in at fire stations to cover calls where the initial agencies of fairfax county Arlington co and city of Alexandria as well as federal fire delta from national airport and the first on the scene the little fire dept from Ft Myer which is home to Arlington National Cemetery and the old Guard infantry division.
Our task force was advised while rolling north on I95 and then I395 we were redesignated to go to EMS staging at the Pentagon. As we got closer we could see large column of smoke pouring into the sky I knew then we had to be prepared for the worst. With the shear amount of staff working in the Pentagon we knew the casualty count could have been massive. I won't disturb people by being graphic but I still see some stuff in my dreams and was diagnosed with PTSD in 2003 and left EMS because of it.
On a sad note one of my friends who was a volunteer with a neighboring dept was in NYC on business for his paying job. When the first tower was hit he selflessly ran to help any way he could. He never made it out alive but he had a heros funeral once his body was recovered a couple weeks later.
I'm back in the healthcare field now making an difference in people's lives again. I do feel that the first responders at the pentagon are somewhat left behind in all the thoughts of 9/11 responders has been focused on NYC likely due to the tragic loss of life among the FDNY. One special thought goes to my old original dept I cut my teeth as a volunteer which was CO 21 in fairfax county whos career and some volunteers are part of USAR TF-1 from VA who went from the Pentagon assisting in S&R operations to going up to ground Zero and aiding in the search at the WTC. I personally prefer to remain anonymous. My close friends know who I am and what I went through I dont consider myself a hero I just did what I was trained to do and my heart called me which was to aid my neighbors in their time of need. That part of my life is in the past now. I'm happy with being able to there when needed and I'm happy now providing help and care in a different environment now
Thank you for allowing me to share my own personal story as a first responder that day
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