This article, written by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jarad A. Denton, was originally published by Army.mil. Below is the first part. I encourage you to follow the link to read the conclusion on how Army National Guard Chief Warrant Officer 4 Clifford Bauman survived suicide and eventually did get to save three lives eight years after the terrorist attacks.
JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. – Each year when the nation collectively remembers the attacks of 9/11, Army National Guard Chief Warrant Officer 4 Clifford Bauman tries everything possible to forget. But the memories of being in the attack on the Pentagon are too vivid to forget.
“There was stuff floating everywhere,” Bauman said, as he described his journey through knee-deep water into the Pentagon’s outermost ring, the E-corridor. “We made our way back around between C- and B-corridor and saw where the nose of the aircraft detached and shot through the building.”
Immediately the team stepped outside, set up equipment designed to locate active cell phones and went to work searching for signals.
“Once we started pinging, I re-entered the building, crawling,” he said. “We were there all day and into the night, looking for people – eighteen hours and no survivors — not one.”
Looking back at what he did — what he forced himself to do – Bauman said there was only one word to describe everything he experienced.
“Horrific,” he said. “Seeing your fellow soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines lying dead in an area where you would think it was impossible, was hard to deal with.”
Even though Bauman had steeled himself to seeing the remains of fallen service members and comrades, he continued to work through the night. The painful reality began to fester inside him like a cancerous wound. (more…)