At NYC on 9/11

Twenty years ago, Rockport Director of Public Works and Development Services Mike Donoho was a fire chief in Bryan/College Station. He was also a member of Texas A&M Task Force 1 (TX-TF1), one of 28 teams now operating under FEMA’s National Urban Search and Rescue System (US&R). Shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Donoho, and his fellow members of TX-TF1, flew to New York City and worked at Ground Zero in search and rescue operations, pictured kneeling with hands folded. During Texas A&M’s home football game against Kent State Saturday, Sept. 4, Donoho, and other members of his TX-TF1 team were honored for their service to a grieving nation. The three decks at Kyle Field were filled with fans wearing red, white, or blue shirts, depending upon what deck they were sitting, just as they did in the first home game played after 9/11. “It was good to see many of my old friends,” said Donoho, recalling that historic period in United States’ history. “It is a time in my life I will never forget.” Bowing his head, he said, “Unfortunately, several of my friends couldn’t attend. They are no longer with us.” According to information from the TX-TF1 website, it held its first organizational meeting Feb. 14, 1997 after the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. Soon after inception, TX-TF1 went on its first deployment as an Urban Search and Rescue Team in May 1997 to the central Texas town of Jarrell, after an F-5 tornado touched down. In June 2001, TX-TF1 joined the US&R System and responded to its first national incident on 9/11, joining many task forces responding to the collapsed World Trade Center buildings, and searching tirelessly through the debris for victims. TX-TF1 responded to Aransas County in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, as well.

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