Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Birdwell CNN Interview Sirus Christian Talk Radio Sept. 14, 2006
Birdwell Talk Radio Sept. 14, 2006
KING: It’s the top of the hour with Mornings with Lori and King, filling in for Scott (ph) Jouvette. We’re here with Lt. Col. Brian Birdwell, talking about his new book and ministry, Face the Fire
LORI: Absolutely. You've talked about your physical pain Brian, but what about the emotional pain of losing some colleagues and knowing what these terrorists did to your work place?
BIRDWELL: Boy that's a tough one. The day, it was five years ago yesterday, the 13th, that I was conscious enough, and somewhat lucid, that when I could mouth the words "Sandy and Cheryl" to General Van Answorth, who just closed his eyes and shook his head, and every soldier on the battlefield today, be it what we went through on sept 11th, or soldiers who are injured and wake up at that hospital, Brook, and a family member finally tells them, hey, here’s what happened to your buddies, particularly when it’s a death, but there’s just pain….a bigger pain is this wasn't just an isolated event. I mean this is a culture that produced the 19 people that committed this atrocity. The pain of knowing that we still face this enemy and there’s still is a very large, long fight ahead of us
LORI: Well, have we learned any lessons about homeland security in the last five years?
BRIAN: Oh I would think we have….The capacity for evil that we deal with, the capacity for evil our enemies desire, I mean they measure their success by the wanton slaughter of life. There is no reconciliation with that enemy—it’s win or lose….. How do you negotiate with an enemy whose starting point is they want you dead? The sad thing is that our nation is going through that wobbling that says, heh, is this worth it? And we better come to the conclusion quickly that we got to put up a fight and win, because we have two strategic choices, King, we either can go change the culture by draining the swamp that produces these people, or, we live with them in perpetuity, and each time there is a terrorist event, we can light a candle and say prayers for the folks that get killed and wounded, and then go on about living our lives and just wait until the next one occurs. You saw what happened from 1979 all the way to 2001, and we've lost 1000’s of people, we can go down the list of embassies and all the different terrorist events—um, we have to drain the swamp or live with the mosquitoes, and we got to get on the business of draining the swamp, I think the President is exactly right, liberty is the best way to drain that swam. This is going to be a tough fight, just like the cold war, except this one is very hot.
KING: Yes sir it is, you found out how hot it was!
BIRDWELL: Unfortunately I, yea. (laughter)
KING: They just don’t play by the same rules that we do. We try to be kind and gentle and these folks, there’s just not a gentleness about them. They don’t care who and they don’t care where.
BRIAN: …….there’s only one way to deal with evil and that’s give it the death it deserves.
LORI: Brian, we’re going to bring this around to a spiritual side because we like to end our show with what we call a spiritual vitamin
I’m a huge fan of the pharmaceutical companies.
You’re a man who is used to being under authority
Gallery slave who works in the Pentagon
BRIAN: After nine o’clock one of my coworkers, Sandy Tailor, got a call from her daughter, saying, hey mom turn the TV on, and we in the Pentagon, most of us, did exactly what you and King were doing Lori, we turned the TV on to watch the events unfold as people all over the United States was doing and we saw the first tower, you know, and then the second plane crash into the second tower and that confirmed for us that this was not going to be a normal day, and that this was not an accident, about 9:35 I told Cheryl and Sandy that having had my morning coke that morning I needed to step out to the men’s restroom and I’d be back momentarily and that would be the last words I was to speak to my two co-workers, and I went down to the men’s restroom and in doing so, for your listeners, if you recall the part of the Pentagon that collapsed, I’d actually walked through that part of the hallway, my window to my office was to the left side of the collapse point, the men’s restroom was just to the right of it, and when I went out to the men’s restroom I walked through it, I had just stepped out I was now returning to my office and I was not too far from turning g back to, I was about ten yards, from turning back into that hallway in the e-ring, to be in the crash site, when Flight 77 was slammed into the building and this was not like any other thing that I have experienced in my military career (ha) as you can imagine, LORI interupts With burns over 60-65 percent of my body with 30 percent of those being third degree burns My inhalation injury was actually the worst, the most life threatening injury at the time with the airplane jet fuel in my lungs and that black smoke. I was conscious during this entire process that was one of the miracles I think that the Lord performed that day I was eventually able to get to my feet after I realized the sprinkler system had doused the flames that were consuming my body and then I was eventually able to get to my feet and on to medical care, and then to Georgetown University Hospital, and from there to the burn unit, and in that simple sentence there is a bunch of miracles that I haven’t been able to cover with you in the interests of time, but the Lord was there. Every moment of it with me inside of the Pentagon that day. With the injuries that you describe so often when we here of someone when injured to that degree, it’s other folks caring for them the whole time, they may be out, and the next thing they know they wake up someplace and all, and they’re being taken of, but from the burns to the inhalation injuries to the jet fuel and all that stuff And then to have carried yourself to where you could get care is incredible and we’re looking at that picture and how God took you from one spot through the area where the plane was and then kept you from going back through where the plane was hitting you talk about miracle after miracle , that brother you've hit the nail on the head
LORI: 30 operations plus countless hours of therapy, Brian.
BRIAN: Yes Mame, there is some really tough things that come from being a burn patient it’s one of the two longest hospitalizations, are premature babies and critical burns, and it is tough business because the pain thresholds associated with it, there’s a lot of things that hurt, but it’s a constant agonizing issue, there are some advantages that come with that too, after going through this Mel doesn't talk to me about the pain of childbirth with Mathew anymore, but I wouldn't recommend it to any husband as a way to, you know, not get that discussion about child labor, but the Lord was there throughout the entire process, we had an exceptional medical team and the Lord is the great physician, and he’s the reason that I’m alive today, and the quality of life that Mel and I have today, and enjoy from a physical perspective, and my abilities, it’s because of some exceptional physicians.
LORI: Well I'm bettin' you still have some scars
BIRDWELL: Yes Mame, but that’s OK because they, for two reasons, one they’re a reminder of God’s grace in our life and I've gotten to where I, you don’t even notice it anymore, you notice some times people looking at you, and they say, “something happened here” and they wonder sometimes, and many times that’s a great opportunity to share our faith in the Lord, when they ask what type of accident you were in and you say, no, it wasn't an accident, it was quite deliberate, it kinda gets their attention, but the other reason too that the scars are alright, is that I’ll only have them for the remainder of my life here on earth but we know the Lord after His resurrection and the encounter with doubting Thomas that on His glorified body he’ll have his scars for all eternity as a reminder of the price, so my scars here are a reminder of the price our nation pays for national defense, every soldier sailor airman or Marine, but in eternity I won’t have to worry about them LORI: Brian that’s so beautifully said we want to hear more about your faith story after this it sounds like you were already a Christian before this happened but I bet that your faith was fortified throughout this …
KING: You know, when you said, yes Mame, to Lori, you could tell that was the product of some regular and lengthy military discipline, there’s nothing like that kind of manners coming through in somebody.
BIRDWELL: If I may King, my momma taught me good manners and the army didn't let me forget them.
"What I will remember vividly for the rest of my life is the smell of jet fuel embedded into him and his clothes," said Dr. Michael Williams. Dr. Williams, who treated Birdwell after his arrival at the hospital, was the director of trauma and critical care at Georgetown University Hospital in Northwest at the time of the terrorist attacks. Tyndale House Publishers, located in Carol Stream, Illinois, published The New York Times’ bestseller Let's Roll! by Lisa Beamer and Ken Abraham, as well as the popular bestseller Left Behind Series by Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye.
"I'm confident that many will be touched by the book and the new ministry to which Brian and Mel are devoting themselves," states Jacobson. "I anticipate seeing even more results from the testimony of God's sovereignty in their lives. It is such a privilege to be able to participate with them in their vision and in their mission of compassion." All media requests will be handled by The B&B Media Group of Dallas, Texas