ROCKWALL, TX – September 23, 2020 — Rockwall resident and retired Navy Commander Don Braswell was recently inducted into his high school’s Hall of Fame in Pampa, Texas. The induction highlights his military career and his role in saving the lives of 35 people during the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon.
From 1999-2002, Braswell worked at the Pentagon with 20,000 others. On Sept. 11, 2001, when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon directly under his office on the fifth floor, Braswell took the lead with his voice. The 35 people on the fifth floor were unsure of where to go to escape the building in all of the chaos, but were able to follow Braswell’s voice to safety.
Other highlights from his amazing military career include:
- Graduating with distinction from the US Naval Academy in 1986 with a BS in Electrical Engineering, and then from Johns Hopkins University in 1987 with a MS in Electrical Engineering
- Four deployments overseas to the Persian Gulf
- Testing and operating cutting edge military weapons in three different combat operations: The Air War over Kosovo (1999), the Pentagon (9/11/2001), and Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003)
- Involvement in the first flights over Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom on March 17, 2003
- Flying 18 missions over Iraq supporting the ground troops as they advanced towards Baghdad during its capture in 2003
- Graduating with an MS International Relations from Troy University and the Air Force War College
- Visiting a total of 21 foreign nations and living in 23 different zip codes during his service
Braswell is a family man and feels his greatest accomplishments in life are living with his family and working in his community. He is married to Sandra Braswell, and they have three daughters and one son. Don and Sandra also adopted Chloe (10) and Ben (9) from China, and they all live with their dogs Holly and Jack in Rockwall. He and Sandra are very active in their local church as Sunday School teachers, Cub Scout and Girl Scout leaders, PTA members at Ouida Springer Elementary School, Girl Scout Cookie coordinators and Boy Scout Popcorn coordinators.
Blue Ribbon News staff report.
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