Former "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" star Vincent D'Onofrio has signed up to go through the detox program firefighters and police officers who experienced the horrors of 9/11 undertake - so he can show his solidarity.
The actor, whose stepfather was a fireman, was among the first wave of celebrities asked to help raise morale at Ground Zero after the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and he has always felt close to the men and women who showed so much courage in the wake of the disaster.
And, now he's in between movies, D'Onofrio plans to spend much of August detoxing with one of the charity causes he regularly helps to raise funds for - The Heroes Health Project. He tells WENN, "One of the things that I always knew about my stepdad was he was so different than I was. I'm not that kind of a man. I don't go running into burning buildings when everybody else is running out. I run out too."
"These guys are exactly like him. They don't whine, they don't ask for help and they need it, so I try to ask for help for them. When 9/11 happened, the U.S. Marshalls put together a list of people to come down to Ground Zero to help raise morale when they weren't finding anybody alive. I was on that list and all I did for 20-something hours was talk to them. I'm gonna go through the detox program with a bunch of firefighters and cops in New York just so I know what it's like."
"It's a long, expensive thing that takes up to six or seven weeks to get through and I'm gonna do it. I heard it's pretty painful at times because releasing these toxins through their bodies puts them through a lot of pain to get it all out and it's a horror but I have some time now, so I think I'm gonna start the first week of next month."
The actor insists he's so proud of the efforts of the cops and firefighters, there's very little he won't do for the heroes he met after 9/11, who are struggling with the memory of the nightmare. He adds, "I know some of the guys who went through it... who I talk to on the phone all the time and, to hear the journey that they've been on - falling ill and then recovering is amazing... I'm working very hard to try and do the right thing for these guys."