(WASHINGTON, DC) – “There are a bunch of us disabled vets selling here, and we’re used to being vigilant, because we all know that freedom isn’t free,” said Duane Jackson, president, VVA Chapter 817, to the New York Times, in the aftermath of his heroic action, which averted a major terrorist atrocity, on Saturday, May 1.
“We congratulate VVA Chapter 817 president Duane Jackson for his vigilance and his quick response—this is yet another example of how Vietnam veterans, so many years after their military service, continue to serve their country,” said John Rowan, national president, Vietnam Veterans of America.
On a busy Saturday night in New York City’s Time Square, an unidentified white male in his 40s, drove a Nissan Pathfinder into the heart of the crowded theater district and fled. Jackson, who was nearby selling T-shirts, alerted the police when he heard suspicious sounds and saw smoke coming from a car, which was left with its engine running and its hazard lights flashing.
Police and bomb disposal experts defused the car bomb, packed with fireworks, containers of gasoline and propane canisters. The power of the explosives, if ignited, police sources noted, would have created a terrorist atrocity of great magnitude, with a “death toll that could have been enormous.” Jackson’s vigilance and actions saved hundred of lives.