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My volunteer son was a hero of 9/11

TimesLedger Newspapers

I have sent letters to every public official I can think of, including the president of the United States, but no one has reached out to help me.

Maybe it is because my son was a volunteer, or can it be he was not part of the FDNY or the NYPD? I have nothing against the FDNY or NYPD, but maybe it is because my son did not belong to a union or the fact that he was 18 years old?

It should not matter which uniform you wear or which agency you are a member of — we all had and have the same goal to save and protect our fellow man.

Below is the letter, dated June 7, 2011, I sent to our public officials:

“Dear President Obama:

“I realize you are busy, but I have a problem and do not know where to turn or who to turn to.

“My son Richard Allen Pearlman, age 18, was killed Sept. 11 at the World Trade Center. He was a volunteer EMS worker. I learned in 2008 about a program grant through the U.S. Department of Justice’s Public Safety Officers Benefits Program that I could apply for benefits under the program.

“I applied for the benefits, supplying documentation to support my claim from various sources, including but not limited to our own government identifying my son as a public safety officer. My son was awarded the president’s 9/11 Heroes Medal of Valor. I went to Washington, D.C., in 2005 and received the award from then-President George W. Bush.

“My claim for benefits from the DOJ was denied on the grounds that my son was not a public service officer, which I cannot understand. I supplied all the necessary documentation supporting the Department of Justice’s claim that my son was a public service officer by its own award to him. Now its denies its own claim of his status.

“Please help me.”

Dorie Pearlman

Howard Beach

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