NAPLES, Fla.- Jerry Sanford works for the North Naples Fire Department, but he spent 30 years as a New York City firefighter, and went back to New York following the September 11 attack.
Authorities announced today 106 people were indicted for lying to get social security disability benefits, many of those people retired first responders who claimed psychological issues from the September 11th attack. Sanford was disgusted.
He says, "I got a really bad feeling in my stomach, like how could they do this? To do this on the bones of the 343 firefighters, 23 NYPD officers, 37 port authority PD officers, plus the other innocent almost 3 thousand people that were killed, its just- I guess it's society now a days, things are different. It's just unfathomable. But they'll get theirs, you know what I mean. I can't wait. They'll get theirs."
Sanford was in New York City the morning of September 11, 2001. He was flying back to Naples after a dedication ceremony at a fire station there. He says he was changing planes in Pittsburgh when the twin towers were hit. Days later he headed back to New York to help at ground zero. "By the middle of October of 2001, I had to leave. I was tired of going to funerals, and wakes of men that I worked with."
"Of the 343 firefighters killed that day, I worked with half of them. And I can't imagine what their families, what their widows, what their children are thinking about their fellow- their husbands' brothers, whether they were the bravest, finest-it's just untolerable. I feel bad, I can't even imagine what a windower would think. That probably the same firefighters that were consoling them, now we find out were ripping off the system, it's just terrible," he said.