I welcome you to ask me anything about surviving 9/11 in NYC, surviving childhood trauma, or anything about serving as a US Army soldier. It's been quite a life's journey for me. I hope to answer any and all questions.

Here is the the trailer to my book, Cast Away Stones: An Eyewitness Account of 9/11 and Memoir of a Survivor, Soldier, Citizen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egUc8uVMuDA

Here is a link to my book. The first few chapters are available for FREE through the "look inside" option on Amazon. I welcome all questions: https://www.amazon.com/Cast-Away-Stones-Eyewitness-Survivor-ebook/dp/B09MSQ283L/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

Here is my proof from local and state newspapers focused on my story. I have been vetted by the Connecticut Post newspaper and Hearst Media.

Links to images:

Me today, January 16, 2022, with my picture next to my picture in the paper, my username, the date, and AmA: https://imgur.com/ofOOpeS




My name is Daniel Geraghty. Ask me anything.

Comments: 80 • Responses: 31  • Date: 

CrassostreaVirginica10 karma

Did surviving 9/11 contribute to your decision to rejoin the military? Or, did you rejoin the military, or were you still in it that day?

Survivor_Soldier_0125 karma

I joined the military during a time a relative peace prior to 9/11. I was at the Towers working for Verizon that morning. I was in the National Guard at the time and in the wrong place at the wrong time. I stayed in for years after 9/11 but ultimately decided to get out. My PTSD was affecting me too greatly.

Designdiligence7 karma

My partner is a similar 9/11 first responder and vet (but not wartime). You guys sound the same: amazingly resilient w unashamed love for others. Hang in there, brother.

Survivor_Soldier_018 karma

Thank you and much love to your partner. My first responder duties were in CT. I was not a rescuer / recovery specialist at Ground Zero. Those people are really hurting with illnesses.

PussyFriedNachos6 karma

Do you mind elaborating on what happened for you on 9/11?

Survivor_Soldier_0121 karma

I was on my way to the South Tower for an interview with the Verizon sales team. When I exited the subway across the street, the paper began to fall from the first plane's impact. I walked to the corner of Vesey Street, right near St. Paul's chapel when the second impact happened. I was directly below the blast, hit by the heat and concussion, nearly killed by the falling debris. In brief, that is what I elaborate in my chapter on that day in details.

CowabungaDude12 karma

Well god damn. It's a blessing you're alive here today. Thank you for bravery on that day, and for your writing.

Survivor_Soldier_013 karma

Cowabunga, Dude! Thank you. So thankful to be here. I’m guessing we are of the same generation. I hope my book reaches people who need it and people interested in history.

CowabungaDude12 karma

Yes. I read the first chapter last night. Very well written and personal. I cried. Oh, and my reddit name is totally a nod to Bart Simpson.

Survivor_Soldier_011 karma

Ah, good ol’ Bart. I thought of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles saying cowabunga. Thank you for reading the first chapter. I hope you will consider reading the entire book. If you live near CT, I have a few book talks planned for the spring. Be well.

Survivor_Soldier_011 karma

Ah, good ol’ Bart. I thought of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles saying cowabunga. Thank you for reading the first chapter. I hope you will consider reading the entire book. If you live near CT, I have a few book talks planned for the spring. Be well.

DramaBrat9 karma

How did working on this book help your mental health and are there any ways that sharing your story on this way has made things more difficult?

Survivor_Soldier_0115 karma

My book never started as a book. It started as therapy and a chance to express what I knew on that day. It became a book after many years of writing and reflection. I don't find it making things more difficult. I find it releasing a weight I was bearing for way too long.

Thediciplematt8 karma

What daily activities do you recommend to help deal with your ongoing trauma?

Survivor_Soldier_0120 karma

I am a fan of daily exercises as simple as a brisk, 20-minute walk. Also, mindfully think of experiences that bring you joy: watching a funny television show, listening to music that does not bring you down. I love to write and be creative, often drawing, as well. Also, A daily journal on one thing that was good that day helps.

SqueakSquawk43 karma

Do you think the reaction (long-term, not immediate) to 9/11 was too harsh? Or not harsh enough?

Survivor_Soldier_017 karma

I think this is a very complex question, but one we should all ask and think about not only now, but we’ll into the future. Generations of Americans and human societies, should explore how wars begin, sustain, and then end. I think it was incredibly important to stop the terrorist cells that were continuing to conspire to kill Americans and Western Civilization all over the world. 9/11 happened after years and decades of smaller terrorist attacks on Americans. The USS Cole the closest one I can think of in terms of a timeline. So, initially, the response was correct and had a mission. I think things become much more complex when the fight truly became global. When that happens, the mission begins to grow. Very tough question. One I think I’m still answering in my own mind.

[deleted]0 karma


Survivor_Soldier_011 karma

Did you have a question?

MorangeMan3 karma

What's it like looking back on that day each September?

Is it a topic you dread bringing up again, because of all the horrible things you had to witness or decisions you you had watch people being forced to make, or is it a more peaceful memory now and an opportunity to talk about hope for the future and the strength of the human resolve?

Survivor_Soldier_0123 karma

Great question, honestly. Every year, year and after year, my anticipatory anxiety and stress starts around mid-August. I begin anticipating the day and all of the imagery of the event, the images and sounds, the agony revisited. For nearly 15 years, I would watch every moment of the documentaries and commentaries, including the conspiracy theories, many of them thrown in my face over the past two decades. For the past 4-5 years I have mindfully set my mind on thinking about all I am grateful for and to focus on doing something good on 9/11. I avoid immersing myself in the trauma and look for stories of inspiration and hope. I call family and friends to say I love them, how thankful I am for them. Wallowing in the pain and agony does nothing good for me. I don't need to be told to "Never Forget," I live with the memory every single day. *Edited: spelling

MorangeMan6 karma

Such an amazing answer, I didn't expect that response at all, so thank you. I appreciate you being generous with your time, and thank you for your service 😊

Survivor_Soldier_0110 karma

Thank YOU, and I forgot to mention. This book--finalizing this book--was the goal I set for myself for the 20th anniversary. I spent most of 9/11/2021 writing and thinking. Trying to express my truth, to hopefully produce something that will help other people. Be well. *edit: spelling

J93_Quinny3 karma

What’s your view on the people who faked being a survivor of 9/11?

Survivor_Soldier_0111 karma

I think it is very hard to generalize. I think people want to be part of something, an event, a group, a cause. I don't judge people ... or at least I truly try not to judge people. If people lie, which people do, they lie. I just try to live what I experienced.

Survivor_Soldier_016 karma

I should add, I also think significant mental illness plays a role very often when people fake being something else, like a soldier, Veteran, survivor, cop, etc. Sometimes it’s actually quite sad to see someone so delusional.

carm-elapple3 karma

what is your opinion on 9/11 conspiracies? have they hurt or helped you and in what ways?

Survivor_Soldier_0110 karma

I have heard many conspiracies over the years. I have been hurt by them when people try to suggest I wasn't there on 9/11, or that it didn't happen. Being there, hearing the second plane fly in, surviving the impact, I know what I know through experience. At this point, I just disregard unwanted noise and live what I know. That plane almost landed on me.

spays_marine-4 karma

You seem to insinuate that just because there were planes hitting the buildings, the story is therefore clear? It is of course fine that you came to your conclusions, but let's not forget that there are those who went through the same experience and arrived somewhere else, fought for years for answers, and were treated like dirt by the government. We should not invalidate them or their stories just because the media marginalized them.

Survivor_Soldier_016 karma

Let me be clear, I’m talking about people who have told me what I experienced didn’t happen. They’ve suggested I wasn’t there because it didn’t happen. That’s what I am talking about. Thinking critically about the day, the causes, the missed intelligence, is fine and I think the duty of every citizen of any country. We should ask tough questions on why and wherefore. There’s no simple black snd white answer, something I think people struggle to understand. And I’m not saying you do not. I was trying to offer an answer to the original question which was about how conspiracies impacted me personally. I’ve been attacked many times by those who utterly believe one conspiracy narrative. But bottom line. I can only express how it felt for me. How it impacted me. And for those like me, I hope my story of trying to overcome trauma helps. Be well. *edit: grammar

spays_marine1 karma

Good points and my intention was not to invalidate what you went through. Hopefully you are not tormented too much by the experience, and your mental state continues to improve, I was lucky enough to witness it from the safety of my home.

A tip I found helpful for myself, is to play sports with friends. It's very effective in not only dealing with lingering thoughts and ideas, but also to slowly replace your memories with positives. But since you wrote the book, I might be preaching to the choir. Good luck!

Survivor_Soldier_012 karma

I so appreciate you continuing the conversation and your response. I have not tried team sports as a way of replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts, but I think the concept sounds amazing. It’s one of the reasons I came here to offer my perspectives and to reach out to others. Social media can be a source of healing, I hope.

Also, replacement therapy is something I do try to think mindfully about. For example, planning my day with purpose around 9/11, not allowing intrusive thoughts and images in; instead, plan a walk, a lunch with a friend, dinner with family. I’ve also found teaching to be incredibly rewarding, especially literature.

Be well.

cumbersomeclem3 karma

How do you feel about Americans honoring the anniversary of 9/11 each year?

Survivor_Soldier_011 karma

I think it is vitally important to honor those lost and to teach the history of 9/11 in context. The families and especially the regions of the country that were attacked are compelled to honor those lost. Yes, we see the images of the Towers, but it’s really about those people and families we lost. It is a reminder to take our freedoms to heart and be thankful for those we love.

Leading_Reputation222 karma

Where were you at the time of the incident and what were you doing at the time? Do you think your fast thinking is what saved your life?

Survivor_Soldier_013 karma

I was standing directly next to the cemetery outside of Saint Paul’s Chapel between Vesey and Broadway. The Towers were directly to my front, the massive US Post office to my front right and next to that was Seven World Trade. The second explosion happened above my head and the people who were on the ground around me.

Survivor_Soldier_013 karma

And I do believe my decision to run when the second plane struck, to get out of the area certainly saved my life. I knew in that moment we were under attack and that I needed to move in order to survive. I know I would have been killed had I stayed where I was. No doubt.

Responsible-Break2142 karma

What was waking up on September 12th like? I feel like that's an experience rarely talked about.

Survivor_Soldier_013 karma

9/12 is exactly where I start my book. I agree, it’s the day people rarely hear about. Please read the first chapter of my book. It’s free on Amazon. The chapter is free through the “look inside” function. I’d love for you to read that free chapter and hopefully want to read more. But, in essence, 9/12 was all about a new beginning. The utter change that took place from 9/10 - 9/12 is profound. I knew my life—our lives—would never be the same. I didn’t feel the stress I dealt with later on 9/12, I just wanted to help, to help my fellow Americans feel safe.

cheapsnakeoil2 karma

Were you on any medication for the trauma, if yes which ones and did they help ?

Survivor_Soldier_011 karma

I have, even though I resisted taking medication for many years. Here are the ones I remember and how they affected me. I AM NOT DOCTOR. This is not any medical advice at all, just some thoughts. -sleep aids by prescription. There are the two major brands from that time. Neither helped. Both often just led to me song things in my sleep. Like sleep walking, talking, and even wandering. Not good for me at all.

-Xanax, a very low dose. I took these very rarely, especially when my PTSD symptoms were acute, meaning short but intense. Like during a panic attack or flashback. Often near the anniversary from 2002-2008. Helped in the short term. I never abused them and moved on after finding behavioral ways to counter panic attacks.

  • Venlafaxine - didn’t help me too much because of side effects.

-Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), time released and daily for many years. Helped a great deal. Hard to explain, but I never felt medicated but my symptoms were greatly reduced.

-Latuda, In addition to Pristiq. Finally allowed me to sleep! Oh, that was a game changer. Sleep is so key to finding health and happiness.

I’ve tried a few others that did not seem to work.

justafishservant82 karma

Amazing, I look forward to reading your book! I have sensitive questions, if you don't mind...

On long island medium they showed video of the tower collapsing. They talked of survivors, - police, citizens & fire fighters - many passed from side effects of debris. Did you get away lucky?

If you were inside, what did it feel like when the planes hit? Did it vibrate, shift or feel like an earthquake?

Thank you for your service, soldier. My brother is in the US Army, so was my mother and father. I can't join due to health problems. I appreciate what you've done (and do) for our country! You're a hero, in the truest sense :)

Survivor_Soldier_011 karma

Thank you so much for your response and you question, along with you family’s service, and your kindness.

I was directly below the second impact, so to say I was right there is a complete understatement. The concussion and heat, along with the debris was everywhere. In my memory, the entire city shook / vibrated with the sound of the incoming plane and then the explosion rocked, literally everything around us began to tremble and shake. I was by a cemetery rock wall and was not hit by flying glass. It was like an earthquake on steroids.

I credit my military training with my survival. I responded to the moment and sought cover. I ran and then assessed the situation. We were under attack. I knew I needed to get home. I truly believed more planes were coming.

Thank you for your questions and your kindness. *edit, autocorrect and spelling

justafishservant82 karma

Wow, that's an amazing story. My mother saw the 2nd impact live on TV while it happened. I'm glad you hear you got away safe.

Can I pre-order your book someplace?

Survivor_Soldier_012 karma

It’s available now through Amazon: Cast Away Stones: An Eyewitness Account of 9/11 and Memoir of a Survivor, Soldier, Citizen https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09MJTCQKD/ref=cm_sw_r_awdo_navT_a_NWCYSV7AKT3C3W2ZNR1P

And on Kindle.


justafishservant82 karma

Thank you! I'll order it now :)

Survivor_Soldier_012 karma

I welcome your feedback. Be well!

OrangeDonaldTrump2 karma

Whats the hardest part of every 9/11 anniversary for you?

Survivor_Soldier_014 karma

I think the constant repetition of the second impact, the image repeated over and over thousands of times. Imagine having your worst trauma, in vivid detail repeated on video for you over and over. And you don’t know when the image will be displayed on media.

SqueakSquawk41 karma

Before finding out definitively, how widespread did you think the attacks were? Did you think they were only the two in New York, or did you think it was global, or...

Survivor_Soldier_013 karma

This is a major part of my story in the book, but I’m brief, I thought at one point there was more than seven planes crashing across the country and that other attacks were taking place on the ground. Remember, smart phones and social media did not exist. Around me, less than 10 percent of the people had cell phones. Those who could make a call were listening to people guess at what was happening along with the rest of us. It was mass confusion.

WilhelmIIhohenzolern1 karma

After 9/11, there was a lot of hate against the Islamic Community in America. How did your opinion on Muslims Changed after 9/11 and how is your Opinion on Muslims now?

Survivor_Soldier_011 karma

I have always tried my best to not generalize about anyone based on broad definitions, Christian, Jews, Muslims, atheists. As a student of history, generalizing only leads to prejudice and dehumanization.

TA_faq431 karma

Have you tried mushrooms or other psychedelics to help you overcome the trauma?

Survivor_Soldier_0113 karma

I have not, though I recently heard there are researchers looking into micro-doses. I would only want to try that under very controlled conditions. I have listened to many Veterans speak about those experiences on Podcasts. My trauma is more closely tied to childhood and 9/11. I really can't speak for Veterans who endured combat trauma for months, years, or even decades.

[deleted]0 karma


Survivor_Soldier_013 karma

I don’t think I can answer that. I have a lot of guilt for having survived that day. I’m thankful to be alive and hopefully live a life that would make those lost proud of me. I’m thankful every day and tell those I love that I love them all the time. In brief, I didn’t want to die and feel incredibly fortunate to have survived by literally just a few feet from total disaster. *Edit: spelling and grammar

multihobbyist-7 karma


Survivor_Soldier_015 karma

To be honest, I’m not sure why you are attacking me. My book is intended to help people heal. It’s not about revenge or who was right.