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9/11 Pentagon Hero Passes After Cancer Battle

59 passengers and crew members perished, along with another 125 people working at the Department of Defense headquarters, on American Airlines Flight 77 at the Pentagon.

Today, the thousands of first responders and search-and-rescue workers who aided in the rescue and recovery operation are themselves at risk, as a result of their exposure to airborne toxins including jet fuel and pulverized concrete and glass.

Like their counterparts in Lower Manhattan, these heroes now have a dramatically higher risk of developing 68 different types of cancer and numerous respiratory diseases that have been linked to the 9/11 toxic dust.

Recently, we learned of the December passing of 9/11 responder Saul “Seahawk” Tocker, 51, a Supervisory Investigative Specialist with the FBI who went to the Pentagon to search for evidence related to the terrorist attack, after a five-year battle with cancer.

Tocker, who joined the FBI in 1990, was remembered by FBI Director Christopher Wray at a memorial ceremony in Culpeper, Virginia for his extraordinary dedication, working 12-hour shifts at the Pentagon, day after day, in the weeks after 9/11. 

Describing Saul Tocker and his FBI colleagues who responded to the Pentagon, Director Wray said “we take inspiration from their example and the sacrifices they heroically made for all of us.”

Tocker’s illness demonstrates that anyone who was working at the Pentagon between September 11 and November 19, 2001 should enroll in the World Trade Center Health Program and register with the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.

Many kinds of cancer and respiratory diseases only develop years or decades after an individual’s exposure to toxins.

By visiting the doctor for regular checkups and screenings and enrolling in the health and compensation programs available to 9/11 first responders and survivors, you have the ability to access life-saving medical treatments in addition to benefits to support you and your family.

A law signed in 2019 created a permanent 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. But to register a claim involving cancer or other illnesses diagnosed more than two years ago, you must register with the fund by July 29, 2021.

Give yourself and your family the peace of mind to know that health care and other resources will be available if you get sick in the future.

Please contact us if you have any questions about the World Trade Center Health Program and the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, visit or call 212-385-8000 today.

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  • Deadline Extended to Register for Compensation

    There is still time to apply for significant compensation if you have been diagnosed with any of the 68 cancers that doctors at the WTC Health Program (WTCHP) have linked to the WTC toxic dust. The deadline to apply to the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) is two years from the date that a cancer has been certified by the WTC Health Program — or any other governmental agency. The two-year period to register doesn’t start on the day of a cancer diagnosis. Rather, it starts only when a cancer survivor is made aware their cancer was linked to exposure to the WTC toxins.

    For those who died from their WTC-linked cancers, the two-year period for their family to register starts on the day of the death of the WTC victim.

    Register For Compensation

Please help spread the word about the strict two-year deadline to register a claim

Many people have tried to complete the VCF application on their own, only to learn that it requires answers to hundreds of questions and many documents to download. It would be our pleasure to help you complete the process in order to ensure that you receive the compensation that you are entitled to. Please call us for a free consultation.

Let a knowledgeable attorney help you figure it out

A cancer diagnosis can be terrifying. You undoubtedly have questions about your disease and how you will pay for treatment. Lawyers at Barasch & McGarry ensure you understand the complex requirements and help devise the best strategies for obtaining compensation and appropriate medical care under the Zadroga Act. Contact our law firm online or call 888-351-9421. The initial consultation is free, so it costs you nothing to find out whether a lawyer can help.
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