Retired Navy veteran reflects on 9/11 and the coincidence that s - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Retired Navy veteran reflects on 9/11 and the coincidence that saved her life

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MARION -- Imagine leaving your office for a meeting then tuning in the radio to find out about an attack on your building that left several of your colleagues dead. It happened to retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Nancy Brown sixteen years ago, and it's why she can never forget 9/11.

"You just thank God, that for some reason that day, He was taking care of me and I think He had other plans for me," Brown said. "The plane hit right where our offices were."

But the Marion-native missed the attack.

"We would have been exactly where the plane hit," Brown said. 

The Navy veteran reported to the Chief of Naval Operations. Her boss moved a meeting for her team that day to a building nearby, a move that saved their lives.

"We heard this terrible, terrible noise and you could see all the black smoke," Brown said. 

But, several others on her team remained at the Pentagon.

"Regrettably, seven of my folks were killed because they were right where the plane went into the building,"

She said the part of the Pentagon that got hit was the first wing to be renovated to withstand an attack.

"If that plane had gone in anywhere else around the Pentagon, the death toll would have been much greater," Brown said. 

Today, Brown counts her blessings and helps fellow veterans. 

"I think that because of that experience and some of the other experiences I had in the Navy is why I'm so passionate about the Veterans Honor Flight, because it really is a way to honor those folks that have sacrificed," Brown said.

Today, Brown works closely with veterans and serves as the Vice Chair of the Veterans Honor Flight of Southern Illinois, which will take veterans on a trip to Washington, October 17th. 

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