Watch CBS News
By Marybel Rodriguez
/ CBS Miami
MIAMI – Hollywood Fire Rescue Captain Anthony Vera is back home after two weeks of risking his own life to help save others in .
“What I say an attack on Israel is an attack on all of us and we’re brothers, by fire department, and by country as well,” said Vera.
Vera went with the Emergency Volunteer Project an organization where 20 American firefighters volunteered to travel to Israel to help. A selfless act Vera knew he had to do.
“I went over there to help out, knowing what they have been through. It’s basically their 9/11. We appreciate it, any outside help and we help them out,” said Vera.
Once they arrived, they were deployed to fire stations across the country stepping into the boots of Israeli firefighters who are also in the military fighting in the war.
“They were rocket attacks all the time, life is difficult over there. One minute, if any fires in the next minute there are siren sounds… there’s a rocket overhead and you have to duck,” said Vera.
Vera, who was fighting fires under fire, knew he had to prepare himself mentally for what he would be facing.
“I had forced myself to see everything beforehand because I wanted to know the face of Israel is important that everybody sees that, but it’s even more touching seeing it firsthand,” said Vera.
And although it was tough to witness, he is ready to go back.
“They couldn’t have been more grateful. They are eternally, grateful Israel is a fascinating land the first time I’ve ever been there.”
Vera’s group was replaced by 20 other American firefighters. Vera also served in Afghanistan with the US Army and in Desert Storm with the US Marines Corps.
Marybel Rodriguez is the Emmy-nominated co-anchor of CBS4 News This Morning, which airs Monday-Friday from 4:30-7 a.m.
First published on October 24, 2023 / 11:05 AM
© 2023 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.
©2023 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Watch CBS News