EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU)— When men and women swear to defend our nation, they’re prepared to face any danger, even if it comes right to their doorstep.
On this week’s Veterans Voices, we meet a navy veteran who was at the Pentagon on 9/11.
In the building’s darkest hour, he and his fellow service members were nothing short of heroic as they answered the call to respond.
On September 11, 2001, Daniel Faul was a Petty Officer Second class working for the Secretary of the Navy at the Pentagon. At 9:37 am, His world stopped.
“I heard a loud explosion and at first I stopped, and my ears were ringing terribly. And I turned around and I see people running out of their office, scrambling in all directions,” Faul said.
Faul and thousands of others made their way to safety, but many others didn’t. Faul suffered smoke inhalation and a torn ligament, but he went back to work the next day with firefighters on the scene.
The building never stopped operating. Faul and a group of marines went into charred offices to remove confidential information.
“What had been shock turned into anger, turned into wonder because we still didn’t know who got out, who didn’t get out,” Faul said.
The mission didn’t end there. Faul answered the call to serve at ground zero on the USNS Comfort, a hospital ship converted into a recovery mission. He spent three weeks in the shadow of the trade center’s ruins, helping doctors and first responders.
“What makes us great is that it’s in those moments that we, who are still here rise up and what we like to say in the military, stand in the gap,” Faul explained.
“My decision and the decision of a lot of us was we’re going to go back, we’re going to rebuild and we’re going to continue the mission. The mission our colleagues didn’t get to because they were doing their jobs,” Faul said.
Faul said that dark day sticks with him forever, but he remembers it as a time when the military stood up to a challenge and succeeded.