Helping tornado victims therapeutic for OKC bombing family member

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MOORE, Okla. – A 33-year military man is hard at work right now, helping those whose lives were shattered by Monday’s tornado in Moore.

He can relate to their struggles because 18 years ago, his life was shattered at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

Oklahomans love to help others in need.

But for Michael Treanor, a 1SG with the Oklahoma Army National Guard, helping the May 20 tornado victims is therapeutic.

He remembers April 19, 1995, more vividly than others.

“This is real similar,” Treanor said, “and then whenever you see the interviews with the parents that lost children, I understand that.”

He understands it because Treanor lost his parents, Luther and LaRue, as well as his stepdaughter, 4-year-old Ashley, in the bombing.

His dad was in the Social Security office to sign paperwork, so he could retire.

At 9:02 a.m., they were right by the window.

“You know, your memory of it really doesn’t change,” he said. “I still remember the pain and the details, the loneliness, the emptiness.”

Treanor’s unit from Ponca City wasn’t called in to help with search and rescue that day, so he joined the Guard’s Civil Support Team to make a difference.

He helped bring in the deceased after the May 3, 1999 tornado.

This week, he supervised a 22-man search and rescue team and continues to coordinate recovery efforts.

1995 is always in the back of Treanor’s mind, especially here.

But he said just being here helps him deal with it.

“It really does. It gives me a sense of purpose,” he said.  “I couldn’t do anything in ’95 to help my step daughter and my mom and dad and obviously I can’t help those who passed away in this. But if they had been trapped in the rubble, our team is specifically trained to go rescue them.  So it’s being able to get out there and do something that’s made the difference for me.”

Treanor said members from all military branches are showing up at the operations center in Moore to help.

He said you can see how much it means to them.

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