Many of us remember where we were on September 11, 2011 when America was attacked. However, for most of us, we were not at any of the locations where the attacks took place, nor were we able to help people who were injured in the attacks. Colonel Ron Maness was not such a man. He helped another
9/11 survivor, prayed for him and finally met him again 15 years later.
On 9/11, Col. Maness was a Major in the US Air Force. He was a Nuclear Operations Officer who had been assigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon.
Kayla Brandon at IJR spoke to Col. Maness and he recalled what took place that fateful day following attack on the Pentagon.
“I came outside and found that doctors and medics had set up an emergency treatment area,” he told IJR. “The Chaplin called me over to a gurney where there was a man badly injured. His IV was broken, so I had to hold together the IV line in order for it to stop leaking.”
He says he knew it was an Army officer, but didn’t catch the man’s name — he was too focused on keeping him from falling into unconsciousness:
“I talked to him when he was in great pain, but tried to comfort him,” he added, trying to keep him from becoming unconscious.
“For 15 years I never knew who he was; I didn’t know whether he had lived or not,” Col. Maness continued. “I volunteered to go back in the Pentagon and put out the fire right after I helped him. I’ve been thinking about him every day of my life — he was the last survivor I saw that day.”
The man he was helping was an Army officer at the time. However, when the Republican National Convention was held in Cleveland he was thankful to meet the man he had helped 15 years ago.
Col. Maness is running for the US Senate to represent Louisiana. He recounts the encounter with former Texas Governor Rick Perry and Texas State Senator Brian Birdwell.
“Gov. Perry came in with Marcus Luttrell, John Teigen — who survived the Benghazi attack — and a couple other folks. We were talking and he knew I had been in the Pentagon during 9/11. He said, ‘Rob, you’ve got to meet this guy, he was in the Pentagon during 9/11, too.’
We got to talking and he told me his story about him getting pretty badly injured, badly burned on the right side of his face and body. Sure enough, it turns out Gov. Perry wanted to make sure I met this man, Texas State Senator Brian Birdwell, who is the person I helped save that fateful day.”
He then glorified God for the meeting and the health of Senator Birdwell.
“God is good,” he said. “He answered a prayer I’ve been saying every day. I’ve had a lot of water go under [the] bridge, but I’m glad he’s alive, healthy and has a family. We both cried.”
Maness will be reaching out to Senator Birdwell to see if he might be willing to help in his Senate race.