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9/11 Memories - Patricia D. Horoho

Lt. Gen. Patricia D. Horoho, retired, Surgeon General of the Army Lt. Gen. Patricia D. Horoho, retired, Surgeon General of the Army

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MHS Remembers 9/11

People in the hallway said the World Trade Center had been hit.  I looked at the TV.  It showed the second plane.  I looked at it and said, "We're next."  

It went boom; you could feel the building shake.  There were multiple, secondary explosions.  

People started evacuating; nobody panicked.  I ran to the front of the building.  People had burns; some were in shock.  

People pitched in and started working.  An aid bag showed up, and I found out later that a young, off-duty medic ran two miles from his house to bring that bag.  His actions saved lives.  A general gave me his belt because I needed a tourniquet.  

EMS responded very quickly.  Firefighters responded; FBI responded; Urban Search and Rescue responded.  Chaplains.  They had a chaplain meeting in the building; chaplains responded immediately. 

The FBI said that there was an unidentified aircraft two minutes out.  We evacuated the patients and relocated our medical operations underneath an overpass.  While we were underneath the bridge, medical supply vans from the National Naval Medical Center came in.  

The response of medical people was tremendous.  We had physicians from Walter Reed; physicians from Bethesda; physicians and nurses from civilian hospitals in the area, as well as the medical students from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. They drove as far as they could, parked, and then ran until they got there. A pediatric physician heard of the attack, closed his medical practice and responded.

The Salvation Army showed up about suppertime, volunteers from everywhere; they started serving pizza, chicken, and coffee.

I left at 12:30 that night. I called my mom and dad, who were a wreck; talked to my sister and my brother.

We are focused on one thing, and that is protecting our freedom and our way of life.

It makes me very proud to be an officer, a soldier, and an Army nurse.

Condensed from an interview with then Lt. Col. Patricia D. Horoho, Assistant Deputy, Personnel and Health Management Policy Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve affairs, the Pentagon, regarding Sept. 11, 2001.  Horoho was serving in an administrative, rather than patient care, setting. The Interview was conducted 27 Sept. 2001 by the Office of Medical History, Office of the Army Surgeon General.  Lt. Gen. (ret.) Horoho served as Surgeon General of the Army from 2011 to 2015. 

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A fire fighter from Arlington County, Fire Department surveys the scene during rescue and recovery efforts following the deadly Sep. 11 terrorist attack in which a hijacked commercial airliner was crashed into the Pentagon. American Airlines FLT 77 was bound for Los Angeles from Washington Dulles with 58 passengers and 6 crew. All aboard the aircraft were killed, along with 125 people in the Pentagon. (U.S. Naval photo by Photographer's Mate 1st Class Michael W. Pendergrass.)

A fire fighter from Arlington County, Fire Department surveys the scene during rescue and recovery efforts following the deadly Sep. 11 terrorist attack in which a hijacked commercial airliner was crashed into the Pentagon. American Airlines FLT 77 was bound for Los Angeles from Washington Dulles with 58 passengers and 6 crew. All aboard the aircraft were killed, along with 125 people in the Pentagon. (U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 1st Class Michael W. Pendergrass.)

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Pentagon Flag

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Military Service members render honors as fire and rescue workers unfurl a huge American flag over the side of the Pentagon during rescue and recovery efforts following the Sept 11 terrorist attack. The attack came at approximately 9:40 a.m. as a hijacked commercial airliner, originating from Washington D.C.'s Dulles airport, was flown into the southern side of the building facing Route 27. (U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 1st Class Michael W. Pendergrass)

Military Service members render honors as fire and rescue workers unfurl a huge American flag over the side of the Pentagon during rescue and recovery efforts following the Sept 11 terrorist attack. The attack came at approximately 9:40 a.m. as a hijacked commercial airliner, originating from Washington D.C.'s Dulles airport, was flown into the southern side of the building facing Route 27. (U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 1st Class Michael W. Pendergrass)

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Pentagon Ruins

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A section of the Pentagon lies in ruins following the deadly Sep. 11 terrorist attack in which a hijacked commercial airliner was crashed into the Pentagon. American Airlines FLT 77 was bound for Los Angeles from Washington Dulles with 58 passengers and 6 crew. All aboard the aircraft were killed, along with 125 people in the Pentagon. (U. S. Naval photo by Photographer's Mate 1st Class Michael W. Pendergrass)

A section of the Pentagon lies in ruins following the deadly Sep. 11 terrorist attack in which a hijacked commercial airliner was crashed into the Pentagon. American Airlines FLT 77 was bound for Los Angeles from Washington Dulles with 58 passengers and 6 crew. All aboard the aircraft were killed, along with 125 people in the Pentagon. (U. S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 1st Class Michael W. Pendergrass)

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The garrison flag is hung from the still smoldering Pentagon by service members and firefighters. (DoD photo)

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Former Pentagon clinic chief Talks with First Responders

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Dr. James Geiling (center), at the time an Army colonel in charge of the Pentagon's DiLorenzo Tricare Health Clinic, talks with local first responders and senior military commanders after the terrorist attack on the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.

Dr. James Geiling (center), at the time an Army colonel in charge of the Pentagon's DiLorenzo Tricare Health Clinic, talks with local first responders and senior military commanders after the terrorist attack on the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.

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Former Pentagon clinic chief surveys scene at the Pentagon

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Dr. James Geiling, at the time an Army colonel in charge of the Pentagon's DiLorenzo Tricare Health Clinic, surveys the scene after the terrorist attack on the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.

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Former Pentagon clinic chief directs medical response

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Dr. James Geiling (back to camera, in the blue vest), at the time an Army colonel in charge of the Pentagon's DiLorenzo Tricare Health Clinic, directs the medical response after the terrorist attack on the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.

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Dawn S. Marvin

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USNS Comfort Flight Deck Personnel

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USNS Comfort Flight Deck

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National 9-11 Pentagon Memorial

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Photo of the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial. The Pentagon Memorial was created to remember and honor those family members and friends who are no longer with us because of the events of September 11, 2001 at the Pentagon. (Courtesy photo by Kevin Dwyer)

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The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort steams into New York City Sept. 14, 2001, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. It left from Baltimore harbor the morning of 14 Sept to assist in the medical care of injured survivors, but the mission of the 1,000-bed Comfort soon changed to a humanitarian mission to assist in the medical care of survivors and first responders, dubbed “Operation Noble Eagle.” (U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Preston Keres)

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