Former FDNY firefighter Mike O'Connell is still missing the helmet he wore at Ground Zero on 9/11 after a burglary at his home three years ago. But, thanks to a new friend, he has a little piece of it.
When career firefighter Eric "Doc" Moran heard O'Connell's heartbreaking story, he knew he had to do something. Among his many talents, his passion for refurbishing fire helmets. "It's just one of those deals where I can't send him the original, but I can give him something that will suffice. Hopefully it does turn up."
Moran started refurbishing helmets just this past February after sprucing up his chief's helmet.
It all started just repainting and repairing any defects. Now he's doing one or two every couple weeks, sending replacement helmets as far away as Memphis.
O'Connell got a mystery package at his door yesterday and when he opened it up, he was overjoyed, "...there were tears in my eyes."
Moran is just doing all this for a hobby right now, but he's toying with the idea of actually making a business out of it for firefighters whose helmets have seen better days.
The search continues for O'Connell's helmet, but for right now, a brother firefighter has found a way to honor his service.