Elmer's Brother

Paratus Ad Vitam Paratus Ad Mortis


Honor the fallen of 9/11: Captain Robert Dolan

@ 08:00 AM (102 months, 6 days ago)

Navy Capt. Robert Dolan loved to be at sea, but with each offshore assignment he deeply missed his wife and two children.



His 20-year career took him to the far-flung corners of the world -- Bahrain, the Adriatic Sea and the Mediterranean -- but he still managed to keep in touch with the friends he made in kindergarten.

He was a disciplined officer who made it his business to excel at every post, but he also was a "guy's guy" who enjoyed grabbing a beer with friends.

"Bob was a touchstone for many of us because of the person he was, not because of his accomplishments as a leader," said family friend Mark Wallinger, who was best man at Capt. Dolan's wedding. "He was a friend to everybody, and a hero to those who knew him."

Capt. Dolan, 43, was working on the first floor of the Pentagon as head of the Strategy and Concepts Branch, when a hijacked jetliner slammed into the building last Tuesday morning.

The Florham Park native knew from childhood that his future was with the military, his mother, Joan Dolan, said. After graduating from Hanover Park High School in East Hanover, Dolan attended the U.S. Naval Academy, where he earned his bachelor's degree in ocean engineering.

His career took him to the Arabian Gulf to clear mines and to the Adriatic Sea as a combat systems officer aboard the USS Richmond K. Turner, in support of Operation Deny Flight over the former Yugoslavia.

In 1994, Capt. Dolan served as executive officer aboard the USS Thomas S. Gates in the Mediterranean and Arabian Gulf.

From October 1998 to May 2000 he was commanding officer of the USS John Hancock, based in Mayport, Fla.

Capt. Dolan's decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, and the Navy Achievement Medal.

"He was a man who viewed service as a privilege," his wife, Lisa of Alexandria, Va., wrote in an e-mail. "Bob Dolan was the best and the brightest this country had to offer to the altar of freedom."

In addition to his wife, Capt. Dolan is survived by his children, Rebecca, and Beau, his parents, Joan and Robert of Florham Park; two brothers, Christopher of Quakertown, Pa., and Daniel of Bethel, Pa., and several nieces and nephews.

All of us aboard the USS John Hancock (DD-981) knew you as Capt. or Skipper.  I knew you as friend and shipmate.  You performed my final reenlistment, and assisted in my wedding proposal to my wife Jan.  We were married on April 13, 2001, and are still together to day. I just wanted to thank you for being a sailors CO.  All of us were disturbed and extremely angry that you were taken away by a group of cowards.  We will never forget.  The pictures from my reenlistment as well as the video will forever leave an imprint on my wife's and my heart as a statement of your professionalism and kindness.  You are missed and honored.  Most Very Respectfully,  David Gorham USN 81-01

*** Posted by SM1(SW) David Gorham USN(Ret) on 2005-09-08

I served under Capt Dolan in USS John Hancock. I will always be in his debt for allowing me to stay behind during a 30 day underway period to be at my first daughters birth. Mission First People Always!

Luis DeJesus (Jacksonville, FL ) 

Captain, you are in my thoughts on the eve of the 4th anniversary of 9-11. I served with you on the USS John Hancock DD-981 and last spoke to you when I departed the ship on our 99-00 Med Cruise. You were truly a "Sailor's Sailor". I still wear the Mercy Band with your name inscribed on it 24/7. I for one will not forget. RIP Sir!!

Gary Hansen (Huron, SD )

Hey, Uncle Bob, its Emily, your God-daughter. I'm so sorry that I didn't see you before you died. I wish that you hadn't; my dad still misses you a bunch. He tried to save you. I think he feels guilty that he couldn't. We all really miss you.



Eternal Father, Strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bid'st the mighty Ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
O hear us when we cry to thee,
for those in peril on the sea.


Got this from steeljawscribe:

Who honors the USN and civilian employees from the Pentagon.

  • SJS: In the midst of tragedy we often times find small offerings of light -- a bright moment we can hold onto that serves to, if only for a moment, ease the hurt. Such was the case with Bob -- the NCIS agent who was normally assigned to N3N5 was making a sweep through the rubble of the former Navy Operations Center to ensure no classified material was left behind. This was prior to the Pentagon Rennovation team moving in to blast the remaining structure away and cart off the rubble in preparation for rebuilding that part of the building. Understand now, that this was an area that had already been covered with a fine-toothed comb by many inidividuals and teams. Just before he left a glint of reflected sunlight caught his eye. Bending down to examine the source, he found Bob's ring from the Naval Academy in sound condition. Of course, this was returned to Lisa who wears it today on a necklace as a reminder of Bob.




    Comment(s) »

    1. I read this tribute twice. The second time, I played this while reading this posting again. I love the "Navy hymn," both the words and the music!

      His career took him to the Arabian Gulf to clear mines...

      What irony! He had some very dangerous service, yet he died at the Pentagon, which should have been safe.

      In addition to his wife, Capt. Dolan is survived by his children, Rebecca, and Beau, 9

      Twins? They are 14 years old now. How they must miss their father!

      Comment by Always On Watch— 2006/09/09 @ 01:01 PM — (Reply)

    2. My mistake AOW there is a six year differnce in their age. I believe his daughter is twenty now and the youngest is 14.

      Comment by elmers brother— 2006/09/09 @ 01:25 PM — (Reply)

    3. It's good to know that one of the children is that much older than the other. Hopefully, she can help her brother; growing up without a father is so difficult. My cousin's father died when his son, an only child, was about 8 or 9.

      Comment by Always On Watch— 2006/09/09 @ 02:13 PM — (Reply)

    4. Another true American hero. You did a great job honoring him. We lost so much on 9/11, so many amazing people. They will never be forgotten.

      Comment by esther— 2006/09/09 @ 04:38 PM — (Reply)

    5. Dugg I am deleting your comment, this is not a post for politics, strictly a memorial.

      Comment by Elmers Brother— 2006/09/09 @ 05:54 PM — (Reply)

    6. I meant no disrespect.

      Comment by Dugg— 2006/09/09 @ 06:21 PM — (Reply)

    7. He was a man who viewed service as a privilege

      Speaks volumes, doesn't it. His service-filled life is a tribute to one who willingly put others first. God bless his family as they continue to mourn their loss.

      Comment by Cate— 2006/09/09 @ 05:58 PM — (Reply)

    8. Dugg, I don't as a rule do that I just want to remember their lives with dignity and respect. You know that I think the world of you and if you wish to carry on that conversation on another post that's fine, just not this one.

      Thanks my friend.

      Comment by Elmers Brother— 2006/09/09 @ 06:57 PM — (Reply)

    9. Good job, EB, and thanks for helping us remember! These aren't numbers and statistics with family and friends behind the names!
      Good morning, G*D bless and Maranatha!


      Comment by the merry widow— 2006/09/10 @ 04:23 AM — (Reply)

    10. Bob was one of my Brach Heads (N513) on the Navy Staff and continues to be sorely missed. In addition to Colin Arthur Bonnett (my 2996 Project tribute) I've posted a memorial to Bob and the rest of the N513 and N3N5 folks on my website (http://steeljawscribe.blogspot.com) -- in particular, checkout the story about Bob's USNA ring...
      - SJS

      Comment by Steeljaw Scribe— 2006/09/10 @ 10:10 AM — (Reply)

    11. I am retired Navy, so I understand the benefit of a good officer. I also understand the Captain's apparent love for the sea and the loneliness it brings without your family. Thanks for stopping by.

      Comment by Elmers Brother— 2006/09/10 @ 12:40 PM — (Reply)

    12. ( salute ) God bless you, sir! and your family.
      a great tribute! A great loss

      Comment by david— 2006/09/10 @ 10:26 AM — (Reply)

    13. Lover of angels- what will you do when the Avenger of Israel sees you? HE sits on a White Throne and renders Judgement for HE alone has the right to Judge. HE made it all and all will give account, those who take the lives of the innocent will not go free! Your cult of death will go down to the depths, upon my honor, if you will not renounce death and destruction and lies, you will join your father, the Father of Lies and your eternity will be in Hell. You will cry out and none will heed you for you stopped up your ears to the cry of the innocent. you will beg for water and you will recieve blood because you revel in it! Your ways are death and darkness, you will give account. By Almighty G*D, may your curses return to you 10 fold if you will not repent! Your house is cursed and the smoke of your destruction will rise up before the Lord of Heaven. You love darkness, then go down to it. you love death, you will endure it for eternity. You believe in lies, the mocking laughter of Satan and his demons will echo in your ears for eternity, unless you repent! you curse yourself and the angels you love are demons. You have no place here and no place in eternity, unless you repent! Repent of your sins, cursed one, and gain mercy from the G*D who's face you spit in! You spit on HIS Chosen People and innocents, REPENT!


      Comment by the merry widow— 2006/09/10 @ 12:18 PM — (Reply)

    14. I linked to your tribute from 2996 tribute to victims of 9/11 - Terrence E Adderley

      Comment by bernie— 2006/09/10 @ 12:42 PM — (Reply)

    15. EB- Now they won't know who I was ranting against! I look like a nut! People should know what evil lurks in the shadows!


      Comment by the merry widow— 2006/09/10 @ 01:06 PM — (Reply)

    16. TMW,

      Now they won't know who I was ranting against!

      Maybe so. But LOA's comments don't belong here, at this particular posting. LOA was defiling the tribute.

      And you most certainly do not look like a nut! And your response made me nod my head in agreement and say "Amen!"

      As you know, I very, very rarely delete comments at my site. But I almost deleted Duck's latest because he posted to a 9/11 tribute. You'll note that Beak refrained from speaking his mind to Duck at my site--so decent of Beak. Of course, Beak IS decent.

      Comment by Always On Watch— 2006/09/10 @ 01:42 PM — (Reply)

    17. I know, but we also need to remember that there is still an enemy to face! I hate the Devil and his works and I love people and my heart cries out to and for the innocents! Those like Captain Dolan andall the others that were doing that which is right. Caring for their families, providing for them, working to help better others lives, serving our country! Being good, decent, hardworking people! Truely Jesus said HE came to destroy the works of the Devil! Well, the day will come when those works will be cast back into the pit along with those who think they are doing G*D's Will, but really worshipping Satan.


      Comment by the merry widow— 2006/09/10 @ 01:57 PM — (Reply)

    18. tmw

      I am sorry. With the exception of John Brown and one other comment I don't delete comments. I refuse to let Dr. Pino hijack this memorial. If anyone wishes a further explanation they can email me.

      Comment by Elmers Brother— 2006/09/10 @ 07:48 PM — (Reply)

    19. With each tribute I read, I gain new insight on just what was taken away from all of us on 9-11. Families torn apart. Friendships cut asunder. Futures and lives cut all too soon.

      Comment by seawitch— 2006/09/10 @ 08:01 PM — (Reply)

    20. EB- Don't give it a single thought more! I just had high adrenaline at that moment. What I said to his sorry self still stands, he is Hell bound and I will make no bones about it! His choices will have consequences, but people need to understand that that mindset was behind 9/11! That is the belief system that tore the Cpt. Dolan's, the Patricia Cody's, Steven Glickman's from their families, friends, coworkers and America-us ultimately. We were robbed! And the Dr. Pino's enable and encourage the thieves! Is. 5:18-21 describes them, they are swift to do evil, so does Ps.1.
      Let their lives be remembered by all who call themselves Americans because they deserve the time and effort! EB, you and AoW,Eyes and others have done an excellent job of helping us remember!
      Good morning, G*D bless and Maranatha!


      Comment by the merry widow— 2006/09/11 @ 03:18 AM — (Reply)

    21. TMW thanks I always appreciate your comments.

      Comment by Elmers Brother— 2006/09/11 @ 09:51 AM — (Reply)

    22. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.

      May God be with this man's wife and children.

      Comment by Brooke— 2006/09/11 @ 06:00 AM — (Reply)

    23. EB,

      A great tribute, Elmer definitely has a great brother.

      Comment by Joe Gringo— 2006/09/11 @ 08:55 AM — (Reply)

    24. Thank you so much for introducing me to Cpt. Robert Dolan. I thought it was sad that he was at sea so much and missed his family and then, when he was on land, he was killed. I like knowing about the people we lost that day; it makes them seem more real.

      I wrote about Laura Gilly.

      We must remember them. We lost them but we cannot agree to give them up because of that.

      Comment by Suzi— 2006/09/11 @ 09:03 AM — (Reply)

    25. A wonderful tribute, a beautiful rememberance. The world lost so many fine men and women that day. A terrible tradegy we shall never forget.

      My tribute is up also if you would like to visit.

      Comment by Mysterious Lady— 2006/09/11 @ 01:00 PM — (Reply)

    26. Permalink verified for the 2996 database (I am helping out as a list captain).

      You may have noticed that the main site for 2996 has gone down, due to the extremely high volume of traffic this project generated. Mirror sites have been put up that show the list of names and links. If you can, please change your link to the list to one of the following sites:

      • http://www.madmommajen.com/?p=3
      • http://bamapachyderm.com/2996-the-911-tributes/
      • http://www.onebigdog.net/2996-tributes/

      Thank you for taking the time to write this awesome tribute.

      Comment by Kim— 2006/09/11 @ 06:50 PM — (Reply)

    27. this is my second or third time over to read your tributes - which btw are beautiful. they've all had me choked up and left me at times unable to make words - but now i'm angry again! we should try to make it a point to remember every single day what our country has become because of that dreadful day - that's me being positive!

      good job, elbro.

      Comment by nanc— 2006/09/12 @ 04:01 PM — (Reply)

    28. Wonderful Tribute for Robert and Patricia!
      Thank you.
      These are heartbreaking stories and difficult to read....
      I am honored to be a part of this project.
      Mine is posted also...

      Bless you...

      The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
      ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

      Comment by Raggedy— 2006/09/12 @ 04:56 PM — (Reply)

    29. There were so many good people, each of which touched the lives of many others, who died in an act of religious madness. I hope those who committed this act are enjoying their time in hell.
      I still keep in touch with many of those I served with. All of them freely volunteered to serve their country.

      Comment by American Crusader— 2006/09/13 @ 06:43 AM — (Reply)

    30. To CAPT Dolan's Family,
      My thoughts and prayers are with you on the fifth anniversay of the attack on the Pentagon that took Bob's life. I served with Bob during Operation Earnest Will in the Persian Gulf in 1988. Bob provided our EOD team with top cover and enabled us to do our job which was clearing he gulf of sea mines. He was always concerned about our team and got us back into port after prolonged periods at sea for much needed R&R. He was there when we pulled-in and saw us off when we put to sea again. A great shipmate and most competent naval special operations officer, Bob was well-liked and respected by all. He is missed by his teammates in navy diving and special operations and shall not be forgotten. Hoo-yah, Captain Dolan!
      Most respectfully,
      Rich Mahone
      (former BMC(DV/FPJ))

      Comment by Rich Mahone— 2008/09/10 @ 02:28 PM — (Reply)

    31. CDR Dolan was the Commanding Officer onboard the USS John Hancock from 1998-1999 during which time I had been awarded a Navy ROTC scholarship. I was excelling onboard as a Work Center Supervisor in the Data Processing Center. However, I was also young and immature, finding myself standing tall in front of CDR Dolan after receiving a DUI in town. Trusting in my character and work ethic that this was a one time offense, his insight was far more generous than I felt I deserved choosing to award minimal military punishment which allowed me to continue on with officer training. After I graduated from college and received my commission, I was eager to contact him to thank him for his mercy and give him a success story about how he had helped someone overcome diversity and reach success. In my attempt to contact him, I found his name on the confirmed deceased list from the 9/11 Pentagon attack. I felt guilty, angry, and disheartened that he had been taken away, and that I would never be able to thank him. CAPT Dolan, please know that you have had a deep impact on me, and that I will carry throughout my career and life the compassion, understanding, and courage to see the good in people in order to maximize their potential. You will always be remembered in honor as my Commanding Officer.

      Comment by LT Mike Goodwin— 2008/09/11 @ 12:03 PM — (Reply)

    32. Lt. thanks for sharing

      I had at least one CO that was like that, glad to hear that you're still in

      and God Bless Capt. Dolan's family

      Comment by Elmers Brother— 2008/09/11 @ 03:05 PM — (Reply)

    33. I can't believe after 7 years I couldn't fidn anything on him until now. I haven't seen pictures of him since, well, I was 6. I miss him a lot, and I always think of him. I hope to one day see him again because me and Emily, my sister, and my parents, miss him with all our hearts.

      By the way, Rebecca and Beau aren't twins. Beau is 16 and Rebecca is..23? I think. Haven't seen her in awhile.

      Comment by Joe— 2008/09/14 @ 07:27 PM — (Reply)

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