Sept. 11 firefighters visit Hawaii to support troops’ sacrifices

| August 18, 2011 | 0 Comments
John Lararera (right), battalion fire chief, New York, speaks to members of the TAMC staff, Aug. 11, as John Carroll (left), retired battalion chief, listens. (Courtesy of Tripler Army Medical Center Public Affairs)

John Lararera (right), battalion fire chief, New York, speaks to members of the TAMC staff, Aug. 11, as John Carroll (left), retired battalion chief, listens. (Courtesy of Tripler Army Medical Center Public Affairs)

Tripler Army Medical Center
Public Affairs

HONOLULU — They responded to a tragedy, Sept. 11, 2001, and continue their selfless service in support of America’s military.

John Labarera, battalion fire chief, New York, and John Carroll, retired battalion chief, emphasized the need to never forget during a visit to Tripler Army Medical Center’s Kyser Auditorium, Aug. 11.

They were also escorted by Theresa Johnson, Fisher House director, and toured Oahu, speaking with anyone who would listen.

Their stops included 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division Soldiers; the Soldier and Family Assistance Center, Schofield Barracks; Camp Smith; the Exchange at Fort Shafter; and the 205th Military Intelligence Battalion, 500th MI Brigade. They also stopped by the Navy Exchange, Marine Corps Base Hawaii and the Wounded Warrior Barracks there, and Pearl Harbor.

“With Hawaii the only other state to have had such a tragedy occur — a tragedy that led to a war — it seemed the ideal place,” said Johnson.

Local speaking events were also held to build awareness for the Sept. 11th Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Run, to be held on Ford Island at Pearl Harbor.

“Dec. 7, 1941, and Sept. 11, 2001, will forever be linked as two of the most infamous dates in American history, where America suffered great tragedy,” said Leigh Anne Wilson, Tunnel to Towers Run event coordinator, Pearl Harbor. “The run will be held in honor of both attacks.”

“The military has done such a great service to our country, and we wanted to give back, so we got involved with the Stephen Siller Foundation that takes care of all different branches of people from the military that need some kind of help,” Carroll said. “Some are disabled; some are orphaned children. (The foundation gives) scholarship money and builds homes for vets that need assistance.”

Carroll was working as a captain with Ladder 37 during the attacks. His unit responded to the World Trade Center shortly after the second building collapsed and performed search and rescue most of the day. He likens the experience at ground zero to that of a battlefield and feels a kinship to America’s service members.

“Being that the military (members) do so much for our country, I wanted to give back and help them when they are in need,” Carroll said.

“The foundation not only responds to taking care of its own — by supporting children who have lost a parent, firefighters and seriously injured military (service members) — but helped with the Homes for Heroes,” said Johnson. “The first home, completed this summer, went to one of our own 25th (ID) Soldiers.

“USA Cares-Hawaii Chapter and the Fisher House also receive support,” Johnson said.

 

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