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Pentagon honors 2 civilians for 9/11 efforts

From Barbara Starr
CNN Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Two men who helped victims at the Pentagon after the September 11 attack are being honored Monday with the Defense Department's highest civilian award for courage and valor.

Graduate student Eric Moreland Jones and businessman Steve DeChiaro, who were near the Pentagon when a hijacked plane struck, were to receive the Medal of Valor at a Monday ceremony.

Jones, a George Washington University student and a volunteer fireman and paramedic, was driving in the vicinity of the Pentagon when he saw the plane hit.

Jones stopped his car, went to the attack site and saw a firefighter with his suit on fire. He pulled the firefighter to safety and then entered the Pentagon at the attack site.

"Mr. Jones at great danger to himself carried and helped people to safety and medical triage," according to a narrative provided by the Pentagon.

As the recovery effort proceeded, Jones helped remove the dead from the Pentagon and later drove to New York to assist at the World Trade Center.

Jones' grandfather, Lt. Col. Conway Jones, was one of the original Tuskegee Airmen, and his father is a retired Air Force colonel who flew 80 combat missions in Vietnam.

DeChiaro, who was entering the Pentagon for a meeting when the plane struck, helped people to safety and medical treatment as the building was burning.

He is the founder of DSCI, a high-technology company that performs electronic warfare work for the military.

The Medal of Valor features a star with five points, representing courage, unselfishness, risk, challenge and boldness.




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