Senator Brian Birdwell | 9-11 Survivor of the Pentagon, Ep. 142

Senator Brian Birdwell | 911 Survivor of the Pentago

Senator Brian Birdwell | 9-11 Survivor of the Pentagon

Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Brian Birdwell is a native Texan, decorated military veteran, survivor of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon, husband, father, grandfather and lifelong conservative Republican proudly representing the citizens of Texas State Senate District 22. 

 Brian is native of Fort Worth, and a graduate of Lamar University, the United States Army Command & General Staff College, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City.  After serving in the Army for more than twenty years, he was elected to the Texas Senate in a June 2010 special election. 

Brian serves as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Economic Development, which provides oversight to the Railroad Commission, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), and the Workforce Commission. Senator Birdwell also serves as vice-chair of the Senate Committee on State Affairs and as a member of the Senate Committees on Criminal Justice, Higher Education and Select Committee on Redistricting. He was elected to serve as President Pro Tempore in the Texas Senate for the 87th Legislative Session. Since 2013, Brian has served as Chairman of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz’s 22-member U.S. Service Academy Nominations Board. 

The Birdwell’s have been married for more than 30 years and reside in Granbury. They have one son, Matt, and a daughter-in-law, Ann Marie, who reside in Tarrant County with the Birdwell’s two grandchildren.



Senator Brian Birdwell joins Amber to discuss his experience at the Pentagon on 9/11, surviving 60% total body burns, and how his 9-11 experience and his Christian faith impact his role as Senator.

Questions Senator Birdwell and Amber Discuss:

  1. (6:58) When did you begin walking with Jesus?
  2. (11:04) The morning of September 11, 2001, you were in an office with two colleagues watching live footage of the twin towers burning. Will you share your experience that morning?
  3. (22:17) How did you get to a place where you were no longer burning?
  4. (44:06) What were some thoughts that raced through your mind as you laid in the hospital?
  5. (55:14) More than 60% of your body was severely burned, you spent 26 days in intensive care, you underwent 39 surgeries over 4 years, what was your mobility like now?
  6. (59:35) In 2010, you were elected to the Texas senate. As we close out, how would you say your experience on 9/11, your healing journey and your faith impact your job as Senator?

Quotes to Remember:

“I told Sandy and Cheryl, I was going to step out to the men’s restroom, and that I’d be back momentarily and those are the last words that I would speak to my two co workers.”

“I’m 15 to 20 yards from an 80 ton jet making penetration into the [Pentagon] at 530 miles an hour with about 3000 gallons of jet fuel still remaining when it makes impact.”

“I’m set ablaze…[M]y total body external injury was a 60% total body burn with about 40% being third degree burns. But my most immediate life threatening injury was my inhalation injury.”

“I gave up. Screamed out, ‘Jesus, I’m coming to see You’ in a very loud voice, collapsed to the floor and accepted that I was going to die that day. I went from the calamity of trying to survive to the peace and quiet of knowing where I would spend eternity.”

“The most emotional thing from September 11 is when they put that face mask over me….I’m either stepping into eternity or I’m going to wake up here, but the Lord’s in charge.”

“My memory is broken and distorted. I remember very clearly the things that are emotional.  And the thing that I remember most is once conscious, there is no amount of pain medication, other than being unconscious…that allows me to lay comfortably.”

“The second thing I’m thinking of, is if I had the ability, with a snap of my fingers to destroy the enemies of this nation, I would have. And that’s what tells you that Christ hanging on that cross is the Son of God, because it takes absolute love and absolute divinity to hang on that cross with full authority to destroy those that were doing it to Him and out of obedience to the Father and love of His creation, endure what He endured.”

Scripture References

Resources Mentioned:

Related Episodes:

I'm set ablaze... My total body external injury was a 60% total body burn with about 40% being third degree burns. But my most immediate life threatening injury was my inhalation injury.
I gave up. Screamed out, "Jesus, I'm coming to see You, collapsed to the floor and accepted that I was going to die that day.

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