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The ce r.t.e r of Militar-y History
October 31, 2001
So I am 111111111111 .. """"""
I an with the 305th Military History Detachment out of
Oakdale, Pennsylvania. We are part of Task For-ce Noble Eagle. We are here today, October 31, 2001, talking somebody who was in the Pentagon on 9/11. And I am
Ie) And what office are you with?
11 The Army QDR Office, 'CC,"'e,G""
c;olng La ask him to identify himself.
My name is, .
12 Defense Review.
13 And you know what we should do is --
14 what -- you briefly in a few moments tell me what
15 the QDR is?
WelL I am new to the office. Got
here in August. So I waS in the process of finding
18 that out myself. But really, supposedly what our job
19 is to represent the Army -- the Army and the Army's Lnr.er-e s t during the Defense Depar-tment' s
21 defense review process.
22 We -- we speak for the Army at certain events.
And I think rno r e impor-tantly we help with the -- with
the vision of the integration and the s yn oh r on i z a t Lon
of all the Army efforts out t.he r e to e n e u z e that the
t.n t.e.r e s t s of the Army are p r e s e r ve d in this the
QCR p r o ce s s . Because t.he re is a lot of things up for
q r ab s .
Ther-e is a lot of defense programs. 'rbe re is a
lot of money. There is a lot of corps s t.r uc r u r e that
oo t en t a e Ll y could be
-- potentially could be
18 increased based on r-e a Ll y how well the Army is
11 r- e p r e e e n t e d .
Lets back up fOJ::" a few momeo t s . Now
13 that we know where you were. Tell me a little bit
1~ about; you. Where you are from?
~:::::; I am from Sleepy Eye, Minnesota.
Okay. And e r e you ma r r Led ?
I am me r r Le o . My wife is.. We have two kids. And--
Okay. And can you give me a brief
overview of your military career?
Well, I q r a du a t e d f r om West Point
22 in 1988. And commissioned as an e r t Ll Le r y officer and
first -- after basic orders was first assigned down
Fort Bragg at the -;'ifth and Eighth Artillery Battalion
Corps Artillery Unit.
Went with them over to Desert Storm as a platoon
commander and an aide.
leader. Came back and went to the advance course.
After the advance course, went to Alaska for four and
one-half years and did a r ew jobs up there. Fire
Then came back down to Levenworth and started
IJ working as a research analyst. And I have been doing
11 that ever since.
12 When did you arrive at the Pentagon?
August 20th was my first day in the
14 Pentagon. So just had time to find my desk and I was
15 replacing a gentleman who was retiring. So he was --
16 he had been in and out of the office and he just was
17 out of the office that day and I was in.
i::55~And what is your exact duty position?
Operations research analyst.
And could you tell me the room number
21 you were in?
••••• t. Okay. Do you recall the 10th of
September? That would have been, I believe, a Monday.
What you may have been doing? If not, that is okay. ••••••• Nothing of -- nothing of
sigr.ificance. No. I really don't.
I understand that the QDR was just
beir::g wrapped up?
Yes. Yeah, we -- I mean it was
still in the works. The DPG, the Defense Planning
Ie Guide had recently been put out. And, from there, the
11 QDR process or the QDR write up was starting to be
12 finalized, as a result of that getting published.
13 But the QDR report was supposed to -- the time
1". line is that we have to have it published by the end of
15 Septerr.ber. So they were pushing hard to get that done
16 at the time.
17 So we would make revisions and it would get
circulated. And, you know, make more
was just -_ it was a big proofreading and editing
20 effort that we
the middle of at the time.
Okay. How does your day normally
~::::~; Well, on Mondays
they do PT?
Yeah. I hadn't gotten in that
r ou t a ne yet. I -- my routine was basically coming
....... ,. Yeah. I arrived at work in
and -- and familiarizing myself with what was goiog on thr-oughout this whole QDR process.
And then we have got stacks and stacks of
reference material that, you know, is good stuff that
the new guy s.h ou Ld read when they oorr.e into the office.
j C So was getting myself familiar with all those -- all
11 those old documents so I could hopefully one day becorre
12 in QDR .
••••• '00 the 11th, do you recall how your
1<; day started then?
16 civilian clothes. Changed -- changed clothes into 17 military uniform. It is pretty common. It
me because I am n ew to the Pentagon, but it is pretty
19 common throughout the building.
20 But had -- after doing that, talked with my boss,
2: I think you are going to interview him
But basically that morning we were -- I don't know, getting caught up on other actions. One of the
big things that ••••• and I work on .i s man a qa nq a
lot of the civilian contracts or just the contracts
with civilian agencies. A bunch of different folks that a r e working -- helping out with the QDR effort.
So there is always -- there is always issues as far as, you know, when they are getting paid, what whe t invoices are coming -- coming in to be signed. And working on different statements of work and just
11 the whole contracting p r o c e s s ,
12 It is one of those things that needs constant
attention. So, unfortunately, it is not one of those 14 things that a lot of times you can -- you can be very 15 predictive in. It is -- a lot of it -- a lot of working during that -- during those couple of weeks was
17 more reactive because we had a lot of different active
18 contracts going on.
19 And since everybody was fairly busy with those, if
t.ne r e was a proble:n or if there was a problem coming 21 up, we didn't really know about it until it was a big 22 p r c b Lem . And then we would have to go chase after it
with a fire extinguisher and put out the fires.
That sort of thing. Just trying to rre Ln t a i n the
cor. tracts .
So working on the contracts and working on
focus. And, during that day,
were checking up
revisions as the QDR was passed back and forth between
the OSD f o Lk s and the Ar-my staff. That was our main
our contracts, -t a Lk Lnq to the contacts, you know, the
points cf contact at the different agencies _ And we
didn't have a draft of the QDR in our office that day,
11 that is what we were doing.
12 And after -- do you want me to just continue on
with the day? We pretty much -- we -- since we have
two offices, we float back and forth between the two
offices quite a bit .
••• sa.,- Are they side-by-side?
Yeah, they are side-by-side. And
18 do a lot of interaction between the other groups
19 doorl~an~d:::~~',and myself in the other office.
20 Now that is -- you said you are In
10542. What would that room have been?
22 The other one was ~
~=:::~Okay. Go ahead.
• So -- and G lot of it -- some of
the other things I had been doing was still getting
caught up on the in-processing, being new to the
But we had -- basically r throughout the day, what
Pentagon, just working myself into the system and
seeing the people and turning in paperwork and filling
out security clearances and all that fun stuff.
are doing is, if we are not actively engaged in
:0 processing stuff for the contracts, we go out and keep
11 the lines of corrununication open with all the folks that
12 we have been working with throughout the QDR process.
13 And it got, you know, a bunch of different offices that
14 were working on this whole QDR thing and they are
15 scattered throughout the building. And it was really a
16 time where we. needed a lot of these other offices, for
17 them, the QDR process was an additional job, for us it
our full-tine job.
19 So part of our job, if we had s orne dcwn time, was
2C go out and make sure that these other people still
21 were keeping QDR, you know, in the forefront of their
minds t.ce r e . Trying to keep it important be cau s e we
still have a lot of work to be done. They were trying to get back to work and do their other daytime jobs and
stuff, all their regular duties and we
you know, still keep them engaged with QDR stuff.
So -- and for me, it was a chance to get out and
And -- and for both myself anctl •••• , it
meet all these people and find out where all these different offices were and where all these other different people worked.
wa s , you know, a chance to make sure that we could
11 still talk to these people about QDR issues and keep
12 them involved in the process and not allow them to
13 forget what is going on, at least from the QDR office's
l~ point of view. How much more background do we want to
15 get into?
16 That is -- whatever you want to tell
17 Do you want to get right to the situation?
19 Whatever background you want to give
20 Whatever you want to do.
21 You seem to be a very detailed
22 oriented person, sorry.
No, that is all right.
We had gone next door to talk to --
talk to the rest of our QDR office and '.',<2
door to keep up on current events. And it
there kind of gathered around. And we brought
and one of the Twin Towers was burning. So everybody
of the other folks in. There was a back office in there
where most of the officers sat and made sure that they
came up and saw what was going
••••• 'went back to our office. And'-;' 11 __ (pbone t.Lc) , ••••• (pno ne t i o ) and the
12 gentleman, who had just shown up that morning, he had
13 been there like a half hour, I hadn't even met him yet.
14 I can't remember his name right
I:: over arid watched -- wa t cned the
and saw the s ecorct
:..6 plane hit.
17 Ano we pretty much knew that it was something more
IB than an accident, there was something going So
19 after that, after about 20 minutes, we went back to
office and were making phone calls and talking to
2: people, trying to figure out, you know, what other
22 folks around the world are doing. You know, call the
family. That sort of thing.
So we were in the middle of doing all that when --
when the plane hit the Pentagon. Didn't really know
that it was a plane that hit the Pentagon at the time.
of a very violent shaking of the building.
It was like a very explosive, intense earthquake. Just
hits you very fast and very hard. And -- but at least,
for myself, it didn I t throw me across the room, so I
IJ But, you know, lights went out, ceiling came down,
11 .the walls got all t.ru-own a r ou nd . And the -- you know,
12 the bookcases and filing cabinets and everything
13 falling a r-ou nd ,
14 Re a L'l y , when the dust started to settle,_
:5 _and I were making sure that each other was all right in the room. And we could hear other people. It
So after we -- •••• , was kind of concerned
was -- it was very quiet. It was pretty ominous.
you could -- you could still hear, you know, other
19 folks, you know, scattered around at a distance making
noise. And you knew that other people were out there
21 a n d hopefully okay.
about a second p t a ne hitting because we had just
watched the Pe n t e c on get hit twice, so we thought
we saw the World Trade Center get hit twice,
thought, okay, is there a second one coming.
kind of a fuel storage tank right outside the
We heard a secondary explosion and I don I t know
exactly what that was. It was -- it was within the
first minute. Somebody had told us later on that it
building that had cooked off out there.
Ie But either way we came to the conclusion that, you
1:2_ know, we -- if we were going to get hit again, we were
going to get hit again.
the more pressing need was
:3 to get everybody out of there.
:2_4 And went outside in the outer: office to check on
__ .._ and _. They were okay. as pretty shook
up. He took a -- got a pretty good bruise on his head.
Got thrown through the wall. But he was -- he was up
E5~WhO was that again?
S And. had a cut on her knee.
she was also d o i.nq fine. Nobody had a critical
condition. Anct •••• .,heard
noise, went back
in his office and said that there is people coming over
(phonetic) in there.
So we both went in there and he -_ he helped
probably the first two people over the wall. And I was
trying to clear a path because we had about two feet of
debris on the f Loo r , So we were trying to just, you
knew, make a walkway so people could get through there.
What office was that?
Back in QUI:" -_ ••••• , office
12 and my office. We just have three people
15 So -- and then the outer office wa~and~
But who was coming over the wall?
:_S It was the folks from next door.
19 Well, that is what I am saying -- who
20 was that?
21 People from our next office, fr-om -
Oh, your own office?
Be ca u s e what they really were doing
-- there is a seam in the wall. The seam had kind of
spli t open and they were making their way t h r-o uqh the
s e arr. in the wall and then crawling over .2 ••••
And •••• , helped the first -- I think the first two folks over there. And one of them was"" - :1 - I think it was _and. (phonetic) from next
::'2 door. __ was the j ani tor. You have probably heard
his name already.
14 He was -- he came over and was trying to go over
e no t ne r wall. He just kept on climbing.
16 helped him find his way out of there and -- and I think
17 I can't remember all the details, but I think once
18 he had helped_'out and get to the outer office into 19 the hallway, I was -- I had made my way over to_"
_desk and I situated myself up there to get 21 people through the wall and over the wall and come
22 t.Hr ou qh our office.
So what I was really trying to do was make sure
that they could light in there,
it was c a r k . Not a whole lot of
it was hard to see.
I was just, you know, making sure that they could
get safely over the top, find a place to stand on top of Tom's desk and then show them the way out.
By this time, •••• ,
(phonetic) was in our
office, too, and he was helping to guide people after
they jumped off of •••• desk, he was helping t.nesn
10 safely get to the outer office there and find a way
11 out. But it
kind of just an assembly line that of there .
• ::==~y;ou say it was dark? Smoke? Dust?
Yeah, at first -- when it first got
12 to get folks 13 14
15 up there, I mean it -- I mean all the ceiling tiles
16 were down . The lights were -- florescent light
17 fixtures were kind of dangling and e Le c t r Lc a L conduit
and cables and w i r i nq just hanging down.
Was the ceiling -- concr-e te ceiling
still intact in your section?
Yeah. Yeah, that was still intact.
22 But standing up on those -- up on the desk, you could
above the false wall and you could see basically
all the way to the outer -- the outside of the E ring.
I don't recall seeing anything to the -- inside of
the C ring, but you could see the -- you could see the
The outside of the ring. When, in
light coming from the -- from the door or the window
right over by corridor five.
Whic!l was kind of unusual because I never knew
t na t there was any offices directly behind us.
thought: we were -- I thought we were right up against -
11 : The outside of the ring?
13 fact, on the first floor, the C, 0 and the E .r i.nq are
It, all connected. It is one big bay if you knock all the
15 walls down.
16 So that was kind of interesting. I remember
17 looking at that and thinking, oh, I didn't think there
any offices back here. But I mean so you could see
2C -.: What else did you see?
You could see, you know, looking
22 this way towards the point of impact, it was dark.
Cou Ld n t t; see anything.
dark du e to what reason?
Well, there was smoke corning
And looking back, you know, towards
corridor five and the outer ring, which was basically
away from the point of impact, you c ou Ld -- you could and that is why we could see the light over there. But, you know, the _- initially, we didn't have
Ie the smell of smoke because we didn't have a fireball
11 come all the way down to our area. Thank God for that.
But did --
But the dust was more -- you know,
14 it was construction type dust. You know? Whether it 1=, was from the ceiling tiles, the asbestos or the
16 concrete or the wood, I don't know. It was just heavy
18 And about half way through getting the folks
19 the wall, you could tell that it was starting to change. You could smell smoke.
21 And it was traveling, you know, through -- the
22 easiest way for- it to tr-avel was through the ceiling,
which was pretty much knocked down and it didn't have
to fight through any of the walls, it just came right
across the ceiling.
And so you could start to smell the snoke . And,
out safely and calmly and
just kept working at
you know, you knew that, hey, we don't have fire to
contend with in our: area,
could still get people
t.t.a t .
Did -- who -- did you knew where they
10 going to, the people you were helping out? Or
11 you just helping them into your office?
12 We were heading towards fifth
14 How did you know that was the way to
16 Because when we had -- wren I went
17 out and checked on "an~ in the outer office,
_ had said, you know, that hey, there is a way out 19 here. Because he could stand out in the hallway.
20 You could look down towards the impact and you
2:" couldn't see anytt:ing. It was pitch black.
22 like a wall of smoke coming from that direction.
But if you look the other direction, you could
daylight and in the fi fth corridor hallway, I believe
the lights we r e still on. Yeah, I mean it was bright
in the hallway. It was just coming down into the
16 .screaming. And it was good. Knew she
.r a nq s , there wasn't any light at allover there.
So he could -- he knew that ther:e was -- there
a way out that way. So, based on his infor-mation, we
were sending people towards him. Now I would bring
them over the wall, hand them off to either ••••• •••• , and they would get them out into the
11 hall. And -. would point them out towards fifth
13 That is how I remember it anyway. But after we
14 had -- it was -- people were calm and collected. And,
15 you know, right after the impact, I remember hearing
17 And it was good for a lot of other people, too.
1 talked to her afterward and she c orrme n t e d that
19 she has heard from at least two other people that, you
2Q know, they heard her voice and they heard her screaming
21 and they went towards her. And I think that for some
people it was sort of a beacon in the fog. It kind o.f
drew people in the right direction. So -- but anyway, she was okay.
But it was just really a sense of -- of making
we got everybody out. And that -- really working
with everybody in there, it that was everybody's
focus. It was kind of neat to see.
I mean nobody was sitting there talking about oh I
It wasn't any of me, me, me. It was making sure
have got to get this or, you knew , never -- I don't recall ever he a r Lnq anybody talk about, you know,
10 something that they needed or they had to have. You
that everybody in our office was out. It was neat to
Nobody was focused on -- on one individual themselves, they were focused on the team. Being new
to the office, that impressed me.
17 Got everybody over the wa::'l. Kind of a procession
an assembly line process. Anct •••• ' was the
last one out. He had kind of a tough time getting over 't.he wa LL because by then, after everybody had climbed up t he r e , the wall (inaudible) got a little bit lower. By the time he came through there, it was almost laying
flat. So he had a tough time getting over- the wall
because there was nothing to. stand on anymore.
Bu t; he made it over and said he was the last
out. I tock his wor-d f o r it. We shoveled him out to
the outer office and we all were calling to make
By then, the smoke was about -- about telly high
that everybody in our area had made it out. And didn't
get any response in our outer office.
a Lmo s t . And it was just continually getting thicker
18 and lower.
14 of that
And decided it was a good thing to be
You c o u Lci tell that it was c oma n q
16 from, you know, the direction of the impact and -- and
17 it was coming quick. You know, wherever that smoke was
c om a n q from was not necessarily a good place to go.
Do you recall sounds also? Hearing
~::::Q~: During this whole time?
~ You talk about
Other people talking and yelling
for each other.
You know? It was one or two other
people from the IMCEN room, which was the next room
d o wr- •.
~===~~What is the IMCEN Room?
j Information Management Center.
There is an office. There is our
Kind of the folks who help out with all the comput.e r s
j O and the network system.
13 two offices and then the next one down. It was an
14 IMCEN office that had either five folks in
20 folks had also come through our
15 there. I believe there was six in there at the time
16 at the time of the impact. Five of them had made it
17 out and one of the workers, did not make
19 But I believe -- I believe there was two of those
21 kno ... ' -- through their wall into the QDR office and then
t.h r ou qh our section also. Don't know how the others
got out. Obviously they found a different way.
And the next office down from them was where""
~-::;(Ph;onetici and ••• <and __ r
2. and ••••• ~, they died in the
crash and _,. made it out with severe burns.
a had -- one of the things
he mentioned was he had heard somebody calling for
calling for their child or calling for their baby.
tell, that was ~ He--
12 heard, you know,
and you were telling me about
(Interruption to tape.)
Starting the tape a q a r n , So you
Yeah. _ -- I had talked to_'
15 __ When he
in the hospital. I am sure he will --
Lf sure he will have good stories to tell also. But just
17 one of the -- there were a couple of things that really
18 impressed in my mind was just that -- how disoriented
19 it was down in his area. And much more difficult to
2::' And he said he got his t.nc r d degree hand -- or
third degree bu r ns on !"lis hands, not necessarily from
direct fire, but from trying to put his pants out. His
pants fire and he had to put those out with his
hands because there is no place to roll on the ground
and extinguish the flames there.
And then when he was trying to push over some
walls that were apparently pretty hot, his hands got
bur-ned again there. So--
He was definitely much closer
1[: the point of impact. We are glad he made it out.
Ll, But he had -- he made it out e ve n t u a Ll y . Don't
know which direction he went first off. But he found
his way out to the fifth corridor hallway and down
office and could tell that he
he was in
through the QDR section.
Andl ••••• remembers seeing him come through
17 rough shape. He had passed~ •••• '
her to make sure he got out. So she --.tOOk a hold of him and helped make sure that he got out.
But anyway. .ro s t s ome other sights and sounds.
I mean it kind of -- there wasn't a whole lot o f
22 q o i n q on. There was more of a silence.
And you could -- the noises you b e a r d , I mean we
were talking amongst ourselves in the QDR office, you
know, making sure we were communicating a nd getting everybody out _ But in the distance, you could hear
Another interesting note
there is a
I could -- I could hear further- down towards the
crash site it sounded like there was one q r ou p there. And on the other side of our office, there was an Air
Force office and the Army
a smaller public affairs
Ie office for the Army. And there was activity going on 11 over there. You could tell.
13 civilian, I think his name is (phonetic) .
H He .... as in the public affairs office. And I have seen
15 his accoun t . Different versions of it. But people
16 have described him as being kind of full of energy and just bouncing around trying to find a way out.
I remember seeing him kind of bounce through
19 area twice. Didn't make the connection until I saw his
2C picture in the paper and read his story. I said, yeah,
t ha t; was him. I had never seen him before so I -- you know, being new to the area, I didn't know who this guy
was, just kind of bouncing around. It was kind of
f u n n y •
What paper was that that ycu saw it
In The Washington Post. I think it t t.e Wedr.esday or Thursday paper that talks about
the awards ceremony for the Pentagon survivors.
think they had the ceremony on October 20th.
The 10th. No, it was -- I think it was 30 days. I think it we s on the 11th.
Not that one. Not the memorial
But there was -- there was an awards ceremony
at Fort Myer last week.
~:::~;Oh' yes. Yes, I -- correct. Correct.
~ So that was on Wednesday, so this
16 in the Thursday paper.
17 And also it was in -- like two weeks -- a week --
13 probably two weeks after the incident in September,
19 People magazine had a special edition. And had an
article about ..... and his office mate. So--
21 Lets see. What else did we see?
Well, tell me about you. Were you
I had gotten shook up a bit. Some
-- you know, the ceiling tiles and stuff from the --
r r om the desk. I got a wa s n ' t secured. Books had fallen
So my head got banged up a little bit. No big
Yeah. He was making sure that
deal. It wasn't -- you know, I didn't get knocked out or get thrown against the wall or anything, so I was fine. I didn't have any cuts or bruises.
1::1 So you -- the Colonel decided
:::::~DeCided it was time to leave. He was
14 either the last man out or --
16 everybody from his office area was cleared out. He was
17 the last one
of there. Once we got him out,
:e stayed under the smoke and got out into the .h a LLw a y and made it ou t into the fifth corridor.
Out in the fifth corridor, there was lots of --
21 there was lots of smoke, but it wasn't -- you know, it
wasn't the smoke -- it wasn't settling in, you know, to
this height, the waste height, like it was back in office. It was just, you know, blowing around lightly up t.r.e r e .
I think part of the reason it was staying somewhat clear- there was because the doors were open. And fire needs oxygen. I mean you walk towards those doors and it was just like air rushing in.
So I think -- I think all that air r us ni nq in
through there and coming down through the corridor was Ie also helping to clear out the area.
11 Were there a lot of people in the
12 corridor when you came through?
No, ther-e wasn't.
14 People were on their way out? Nobody
No. I mean there -- I co» ' t even
remember. I don't remenber s e e i nq what was going on down the other direction at all.
19 There was probably five or six people up and down
that hallway at the time.
That was the fifth corridor, you say?
And off in the distance you could see
some activity in the -- away from the damaged area. don't mean to put words in your mouth.
No. I don't remember seeing people down an y of the other rings at all. But just in that fifth corridor there, you kn cw , there is people still kind of lingering around.
Other people, other workers from
These were people who were coming out or people that were assisting you or firemen?
~ And everybody was basically talking
1~ about, you know, where we are going to get out. That
"1.5 sort of thing. It wasn't -- everybody in that
in the evacuate mode.
A lot of things were going on. Do you
18 recall looking at your watch at any time to get an
19 idea of time frame?
a lot of
Don't recall looking at my watch. had talked about that, trying to figure
22 how long it took.
And we kind of figured it was between ten and
r t r t een minutes from -- you know, from the time that
for the length of time that it took to get everybody
out of the building and in our
Don't know for
Never looked at my watch.
wh e r e the QDR personnel
forming up and
But as we were going out, I do recall seeing the
firemen at the door .••••• 'stopped and talked to
just outside and he was pointing
off in the distance, across the grassy
:1 getting accountability, make
we had everybody.
12 So he pointed us in that direction and started
13 walking across there. And behind me, ••••• had
14 take~over to the .arnb u La n c e . She had that
15 here knee.
was already over there.
.. .no Le lot of -- couldn't see a
whole lot of reason to go over- and stand ar-ound over-
18 ther-e. Felt kind of useless doing that. So I kind of
19 meander-ed ever by the ambulance and helped out.
Just trying to find something to do tne r e . You
,,~ know, just helping people -- mainly had a lot of smoke
22 inhalation and burn victims there.
So what I was doing ther:e basically 'WaS making
sure people were comfortable. Making sure they weren't
laying en top of each other. That sort of thing. Just getting them comfortable and have a couple of combat
I can't remember. There is a female lieutenant
medics who were gr:abbing things out of the ambulance and starting up IVs and taking vitals.
colonel who showed up about ten minutes later. I also her pictur:e in the People magazine.
But she was a nurse and she kind of took charge of
11 that immediate area right in there . At. least for the
12 20 to 30 minutes. She was shuttling people or
13 just coordinating the triage effort. And so most
l4 people were taking the commands from here.
One fire truck that was throwing water: on the
flames. And two ambulances back where we were. And I 17 think one helicopter -- one Medivac helicopter had just 18 shown up and they were waiting for another one.
19 Now where was this at? Was this
outside the --
Eight outside the west side of the
It "as a grassy area that was --
b a s Lc a Lj y , it ","as the area in between the helipad and Highway 27.
i So that is kind of where I spent
the next six hours.
• Yeah. We had loaded one person on
an ambulance. Loaded another person on an ambulance.
11 And then the helicopter came,
took that person
12 off the ambulance, took him down to the Medivac
13 helicopter and got them on their way.
11. And by then there was a lot more help right around
15 the ambulances. And there was a group of people
:6 forming up right by the helipad.
A bunch of soldiers and a couple of civilian
18 workers getting ready to go back in with -- what are 19 they called, these back boards. Kind of the stiff
boards that you use for rescue.
2: I called it the back board brigade because they 22 kind of just ran around as a group for about an hour
t r y i nq to figure out what we are doing and where we are going and who wa s in charge.
No, they were forming up there, so I ran over to Jump in on that. And somebody was giving instructions.
Just really didn't know the extent of the damage.
You couldn't go in rne r e . So we all went around to
the -- one of t.he south entrances, trying go in
there. And the idea was we were going to go in and try
and recover any victims that we could find.
L. Were the public safety officials there
12 during that time? When did they -- were they gradually
13 com i n q in? Were they there in mass when you came out?
Still at this time when they were
::'5 ~ust forming up their 1::' ttle back board brigade, there
was, if I remember co r r ec t Ly , there was only one fire
17 truck actively throwing water.
18 And there was some police -- policemen, along with
19 the DPS folks, you know, our Pentagon security people.
And that was about it at the time.
2: Your brigades, the different -- you
22 said the lieutenant colonel nurse who took over kind of
the triage area.
xm-rcom . Initially right in the right next to those two ambulances sitting there.
Okay. You were involved with the back board squad. Who do -- do you remember people taking charge, who they may have been? Or was it just -Initially, with that -- the back board folks, I don't recall who was in c h a r- q e there.
But one of the -- one of the firemen who there
10 wouldn't let us go in that door. It was the door --
II the entrance that goes right into the Pentagon from the helipad. He wouldn't let us go in there, so we were
13 going around to one of the south parking entrances 00
H_ the south side.
$5 we all ran over there. And, on our way over there,
eomebody called out that there was a second plane in
the air, so they were evacuating everybody away from
18 the building.
19 So we went underneath -- across the south parking,
underneath 395 and waited over there. It was a little
2:2_ parking area across -- across from the Pentagon City
22 Mall. And we just waited in there. I think we waited
20 or 30 minutes before they let us go back a c r o e s ;
1;o,Thile we were over there, I can't rerrember who it
was, I think it was myself, (phonetic) and
.:: £ & and somebody else, just -- you know, there
a lady who had seen the plane hit the Pentagon and
she was with one of the bus companies. And she was
there, out in the sun, looking like she was in a bit of
s_ made sure she was all right. We threw her of the back boards and hauled her
(End of Tape 1, Side A.)
.a ...... : Hauled this unknown lady
13 mall area? Which mall are we talking about?
Oh, it is the Macy -- it has got
15 the Macy's up there. I think it is called the Pentagon
16 City Mall.
And there was a -- an Air Force
captain over there who
a medical doctor. He took
over and made sure she
okay. She had seen the
21 plane crash, so she was kind of in a bit of shock.
22 When you say bus company, which one
are you talking about? Public or government?
She was with another gentleman who a bus driver. And it wasn't clear to me whether
this other lady was one of his co-workers. You know, either a tour guide or another bus driver somebody else on the bus.
One of those three.
IS that that underpass by gas station?
But it was a -- it was a p r i va t e
11 bus company that brings people into the Pentagon a r-e a
12 for different tours. Because they, you know, they used
13 to do the Pentagon tours before this happened.
14 But a nywa y , we finally got clearance to go back
underneath near the Pentagon. So we all trucked back
18 I am trying
orient. I am not familiar.
19 apologize. I am not familiar with where the Nacy's is
No. Don't know. There is a
22 walking tunnel.
It is the pedestrian tunnel.
Okay. Got y o u ,
So we were running back through the south parking lot towards the Pentagon to go back up to
And that we s the first time we that
west side of the building. And as
the first time I had seen ••••• r(phonetiC) .
the same guy who was in charge of the family
assistance center and gave daily briefings to family
10 members and t.ne media on the situation and the recovery
'1 of victims and ever:ything.
:2 But he was -- he W2S doing just like everybody
else. He jumped on there and picked up a back board
14 and was running with the -- running with the back board
15 brigade. You k now , just trying to help out. Find sorre
16 place where they could help.
17 And 't ha t; was refreshing to see. You know, just
t. r y i nq to find a place to fit in and help out anywhere.
19 On our way back, we had --
went back over to the
21 I remember seeing two light posts that the plane had
22 hit and had knocked over. And they were laying in the
That, along with talking to people later as far wnen they saw the plane flying, you put two and two together e n d figure out the angle at which the plane flying when it hit the Pentagon.
So that was kind of -- it was kind of spooky to those things on the ground and see how low the
plane was actually flying.
Would you be able to show rre that some
time? The area where you walked and came back through
i z 13
and saw the lamp posts?
~::::~. Sure. Mru-hmrn.
~ Okay. We are going to try to
14 reconstruct this. So you were there all day?
j When you carne back through again, did
17 -- now were they allowing you to get back involved
=-9 By then more fire trucks had shown
20 up and even the fir-e trucks were pushed back.
21 Everybody was back. And w·e little back board brigade.
back over with
One of t he firemen said, you know, thanks, you
know, the fire is too hot r i qht; now. Go back. Go back
ave!: here and wait over away from the building until -until we need some help. You know, basically we will call you when we need you.
So we went over -- there -- there is two trees
right next to 27, directly west of the building and we
j c s t all went over there and sat under the shade tree and waited.
10 And then there was about four- or five times when
11 got more a i r- threats or plane threats. So we all
had to evacuate and get away from the building. We would go on the other side of the highway, you know, behind the concrete lane dividers, just trying to find 15 some shelter.
16 Nc t h i nq ever happened with that. Just -- you
k no w , just more airplane scares.
And by then it was about eleven o t c Lcc k and
19 supplies had started to flow in. I r-emernbe r seeing
cornrru s s a r y folks and post exchange folks show up from Fort Myer.
22 And they had brought some shopping carts down and
they were just -_ they were just wheeling shopping carts -- shopping carts full of -- you know, Gatorade and water and sodas and everything for- everybody there because they had the foresight to realize that it was going to be a 10:19 day.
So we got that and a couple of these big five gallon blue jugs that you see on these water coolers the building. A couple of those had been pulled out from somewhere and just kind of set -- set up for the
:C long day of sitting in the sun and waiting to help out.
We -- we --
was like starting and stopping all
12 day long, as far as, you know, what we were going to
13 do. I kept thinking we were getting ready to go and we
14 wou Ld get all prepared and lined up and get a briefing
a nd then somebody wou Ld say, no, no, no, you are not
going anyvhe r e _ I am in charge _ And then have a big
discussion over who is in charge of do i nq what _
18 Then we would go back and sit d own again. Then we
19 would come back up again and it was like, okay, here we go. And then somebody else would come by. and no, no,
21 no, you can't do that. You know? So it was kind of
22 interesting _
So we -- our back board brigade kind of morphed
into a -- you know, we ended up becoming the morgue.
We wer-e going to be the morgue in the -- the morgue part of the triage thing.
So they had set up a bigger triage for that whole
I mean there were supplies coming in. Shelters
grassy area. And, you know, from the triage, if there w e z e any gray victims or deceased victims coming up,
would be the ones to bring them into the morgue. So just spent hours, you know, getting that r e a dy .
11. that had to be set up, you know, these temporary
12 shelters. And then unloading supplies and finding where they want stuff. It was just -- it was a big operation and getting bigger. And a lot of equipment to be moved.
16 And somebody else would come along and be in
17 charge and they would want it moved. It would get a little bit bigger and they would want it moved over here. You know? So it was a dynamic triage area.
Then about 3 30 we had kind of figure:i out that
21 we r en t t going to do any -- we weren't going to do a
22 · ... hole lot of anything from the outside. They were
looking for volunteers to carry equipment into the
of the Pentagon?
And that is kind of where the new morgue was
center of the Pentagon. So we had a bunch of
volunteers jump up for that. I figured there was
opportunity to do something on the inside of the
Pentagon instead of being outside, so off we went.
up. And kind of got new instructions and the
II volunteers in there -- I mean there was doctors and
12 medics and a whole new different set of triage folks in
And the plan was that the FBI was in charge and
this was a crime scene. And once they had done their
:'6 investigation, we would basically help the firemen
17 recover the boo.i.e s from the -- from inside the Pentagon
18 and bring them into the courtyard.
19 Medical folks would help identify and recover
personal effects and do all the proper paperwork that
2: needed to be done.
22 So we had like four teams. We had between 30 and
40 fclks in there. We had four teams that were qo a nq get rotated around to help the firemen do that.
Then about 5: 30 they came by and said they are bringing in a new team of pathologists. So the pathologists were going to work with soldiers from the Old Guard and they were going to basically come down
basically relieve and home we went.
So they let us off about 8: 30
a nd take over what we were planning to do.
So we were just waiting for them to show up and
But it was about eight o'clock when they said they aren't going to GO anything tonight. Just waiting. So
it was pretty frustrating because
14 we I ted all day trying to help and never -- never felt
15 like -- n e v e r- felt like I got to do as much as I wanted 16 to do.
l' Sometimes I guess that is wh a t; happens when you
have got something this big, you know, and you are 19 trying to get it organized and get it just right.
Sometimes it takes too long.
21 So I am glad there was a lot of individuals out
there that were able to get back in there quickly and
45 he Lp out. There is still a lot of people in there that r.eeded -- needed help finding a way out.
I have seen a lot of stories where people
able to do that. Just wish we could have done more of that. You know? Hard to do.
My dad -_ my dad is a retired fireman. Put in 35 years in the fire department. I was telling him these
figuring out how much risk you
taking and when
stories and he said, yeah, I relate. You know, it
is really a matter of figuring where the --
11 it worth it to risk more lives for potentially saving
12 other Li ves. I mean you have got a whole plane load of
13 fuel in there b uz n i nq away, there is a whole lot of
15 So I am glad that the folks that made it out made
16 it out. I just wish we could have gotten more people
No, they said -- they said we will
So you went home. When did you -- did
:::.9 you come back to work the next day or were you off a couple of days?
call you when we need you. Took two days off and came
back on Friday.
And then what? Starting to move the ~
- set up a new office?
~=::~~Where did you know where to go to?
I Well, I think •••• and GEN
already working that. So
out where we
Hartsell and two or t.h r ee other folks had -- had been
we r e qo i nq , how we are going to fit in there. SGT
10 Lindsay was already finding, you know, desks and
11 computers and work stations and all that sort of stuff.
12 So we basically spent Friday getting settled in
13 and hooking stuff up and trying to get o p e r a c i.c n a L
It. because QDR reports still had to get published by the
15 end of the month.
16 Is there anything else you would like
17 to add that maybe I didn't ask you about that you
wanted to say or? What about, in retrospect, what have
19 you learned from this whole process?
,; ~ I s there one thi ng tha t stands out in
22 your mind or you are saying to yourself?
Well, it is kind of funny because
expecting -- we were expecting that to be a
busy week. On Monday, before we went home, ••••• ,
had a me e t Lnq before he sent us home and said, you
t he QDR report. So that was
thought that was
know, hey, tell your family that Tuesday, Wednesday am
Thursday are probably going to be long »rc.je e because, you know, we were expecting another -- another round of
you know, proofreading and making char.:.ges and stuff
kind of funny. Told us we were going to have a long
~~ night, but we didn't expect it to be like that.
:C2 But one thing you noticed, especially in the t i r s t
13 two weeks afterwards, was talking to people in the
:4 hallway. First of all, that was an unusual thing
because a lot of times you go down the hallway, there
:6 is not a who Le lot of interaction. There you
know, it is like you are on a busy street a big
But after September 11th, there was a lot more
20 people talking in the hallway. A lot more people, you
2: know, t a k i nq time out of their day to go see other
people. It really gave you a whole new outlook on life
and a whole different perspective. People would say,
you know, hey,
it is good to see you for the
first time and actually mean it. It was kind of weird. Eeally an eye-opening experience.
But to see the people pull together like that and, you know, really looking out for other people and wanting to help other people _ It was good to
In a way I am glad that we were that close to where the plane hit because, just by the fact of being
lC there, we were able to be amidst the chaos and help
cut _ You know? How the other thousands of people that
:_2 out on the other side, you know, that -- they were
13 bas' cally told to go home. You know?
I mean if you were to have another 15, 000 people
15 helping out, I mean it just would have been too many peop:'e doing nothing. You know? They just said, hey,
17 go home, get out of here.
From that perspective, I think it was nice to be
19 the west side of the building where you can actually
feel like you could stay and try and find something to
21 do and in some way help out.
It was -- you know, everybody from our office
49 stayed around as late as they could. Nobody was asking to go nome . Nobody wanted to leave. Everybody wanted
stay and try and find some way to -- you know, to
It was good to see.
~:::~~HOW did you get home?
J ••••• ~.OOk me hane. Because
my motorcycle in and lost my wallet and the keys and the helmet. So I wasn't going to ride that
1: ;::::~~AnY final words?
:2 No. Well, thanks for your time.
'"< Yes, it was a good interview. I am
qo i nq to have you look at this oral access agreement form. If you have -- read through it and then note if you have -- there is a section where it asks if you have any concerns about the release of this document
_8 the Army. If you have no objections, then sign it.
will get your picture here and then ".re will be done.
I thank you very much,
So I am going to get your picture now.
And we need to get against maybe a white background or somethir.g like that.
~:::~ Is this good enough?
J That might be okay. I have got a wide
angle lens, so I will probably get pretty close to you.
So -- I
I have a flash on, but I ho p e I don't --
Twenty thousand dollar camera?
I hope I don't blind you here. And we will do here.
:::::~something like that, yeah.
Yeah. Well, thank you again. AI::' I
directions to the subwe y station so I can get
:5 back to my office so I can get a ride back to Myer.
~::=~IW;'here do you live?
~ I am down in Woodbridge. That is
wh a t I need from you also. I need to get your -- let
19 me get you r direct phone line.
2J At home or here?
~:::::A:n:d:h~om;ei'~i;f ~Y"OIU~don 1 t mind?
_ If we have questions, then we
can get a hold of you. Get some clarification because a lot of information there and some times it is like
He was pretty much
pretty much an egotistic,
That was another thing that was
kind of interesting. There is a guy that I knew, and I
forget his name, he -- he was kind of a -- when I
12 lieutenant and he was captain, he was not well liked
13 amongst the ranks.
15 self-centered kind of guy. Had -- I have seen more
H good things written about this guy and his actions, you know, and how he helped other people during this.
18 '"as very impressed and very relieved to read that about him.
That there was another side to him?
Yeah. Because I had remembered him
22 in G. -- you k n ow , in a totally different way. Glad he
had it in him. It va s good to see.
No names, huh?
(The interview was co nc Luc e d . )
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