Macedon family of fallen Navy firefighter has mortgage paid off by 9/11-inspired foundation

Family of one fallen veteran gets special surprise

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MACEDON, N.Y. — The family of David Hale, a fallen Navy firefighter from Macedon, received a special surprise this Memorial Day when their mortgage was paid off by the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

The foundation, established in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, paid off the mortgages of 36 families across the country today, including the Hale’s.

“He heard that the twin towers had been attacked so he turned his car around and drove to the World Trade Center where he ultimately lost his life,” said Stephen Siller Jr. of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation about his father, an FDNY firefighter who initially had the morning of September 11, 2001 off.

In their grief, the Siller family created the Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

“Around the holidays, like Veterans Day, Memorial Day we make sure we do a little bit extra and try to fit in a bunch of families during that time period,” Siller said.

David Hale was exposed to toxic burn pits while serving overseas as a Navy fireman. He developed cancer and died at age 41, leaving behind his wife Carrie, and two young children.

When David was sick, Carrie was fighting for passage of the PACT Act, which now extends health coverage and death benefits to service members who were exposed to toxic burn pits.

The foundation was drawn to Hale’s story because it’s similar to what 9/11 families had to fight for after first responders there got sick from exposure.

“It meant a lot to her, the home that she got to marry her husband in and got to live with him in and raise their kids in, is now going to be hers forever and she doesn’t have to worry about a mortgage hanging over her head, she’s free to raise her children and use the money that she does have toward them,” Siller said about Carrie’s reaction to learning her mortgage would be taken care of.

For Steven, his family, and the foundation, “the whole thing has been extraordinary healing for me, I’ve gotten to help families that are suffering the same loss I once did.”

Carrie wasn’t ready to speak to News10NBC yet about her husband as she’s understandably still grieving but is thankful for such a generous gift from the foundation.

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