Anthony Rodriguez, 36, often said “I have the best job in the world” and he had had that job for just six months. Still a probie, he had finished his shift and was on the phone with his family when the first plane hit. He told them he was on his way home. But he hung around the firehouse talking and after the 2nd strike he called them again to say he was going in.
Rodriguez had been a radio man in the US Navy for 10 years. He was big on family and the “the life of the party,” always planning the family cookouts and camping trips, and monthly gatherings of all the cousins. He and his wife had five kids, four from a previous marriage. Their sixth child, a daughter, was born that Friday, September 14th. He had designed her room and proudly showed it off whenever and to whomever he could.
When the graduation ceremony was held for his class on November 1st, his chair was one of six draped with bunting. Posthumously he was made a firefighter.