2010-09-10 / Top Stories

Weiner Fights For Breezy Point 9/11 Hero

Rep. Anthony Weiner has asked Defense Secretary Robert Gates to award Breezy Point resident Major Thomas Sullivan the U.S. Army Soldier’s Medal for his heroic efforts to save lives at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

Major Sullivan, a member of the U.S. Army Reserve who was on inactive duty on 9/11, has already received the Army Commendation Medal for his “heroism, meritorious achievement or meritorious service” after he helped save his coworkers at Fiduciary Trust Company International on the 95th floor of the south tower on that terrible day.

According to written accounts from several of his colleagues, Sullivan helped clear out his office and stayed behind to ensure that everyone heard his calls to evacuate. As he descended the stairwell, Sullivan personally assisted three people, and with his help they exited the building minutes before the collapse of the south tower.

In the months after 9/11, Sullivan was recommended for the Army Soldier’s Medal in honor of his heroism, but he was uncomfortable with the thought of seeking recognition for his actions. As a result, the Awards and Decorations Branch of the U.S. Army Human Resources Command awarded him the less prestigious Commendation Medal.

However, according to Army regulations, the Army Soldier’s Medal can be given to an individual who has “distinguished himself or herself by heroism not involving actual conflict with an enemy.” By this definition, Sullivan’s actions on 9/11 have earned him this award.

Now, nine years after the 9/11 attacks, Major Sullivan has turned to Rep. Weiner’s office for help. In a letter to U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Rep. Weiner recommended that Major Sullivan’s award be upgraded from the Army Commendation Medal to the more prestigious Soldier’s Medal.

“Major Sullivan is a true American hero,” Weiner said. “His acts of bravery saved lives on that terrible day, and for that he deserves this recognition.”

Sullivan continues to serve his country by assisting in the troop drawdown in Iraq as a member of the U.S. Army Reserve stationed in Kuwait.

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