EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --
The 33rd Fighter Wing hosted a ceremony commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Khobar Towers terrorist attack, June 24, 2016, at the Nomad Memorial Grounds, here.
The ceremony honored the 12 Nomads who lost their lives on June 25, 1996, and paid tribute to the families and survivors.
“This attack shook our nation to its core,” Col. Lance Pilch, 33rd Fighter Wing commander, said. “The effect of this terrorism ripples through us even today as we reflect on who these Airmen could have been, were they still alive today.”
The bombing at Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, resulted in more than 500 civilian and military casualties. The 33rd FW suffered 105 wounded personnel and accounted for 12 of the 19 Airmen killed on that day.
“Twenty years, in some respects, seems like an eternity, but there are times when it seems like 20 days because our memory of that tragic night is still so clear,” said retired Col. Doug Cochran, 58th Tactical Fighter Squadron commander at the time of the attack. “The sting of loss fades somewhat over time, but the memories of our fallen heroes and their sacrifice remains vivid.”
The ceremony consisted of a wreath laying, recitation of the names of the victims, playing of Taps, the first flyover in a Missing Man formation for the F-35A.
“The memory of these heroes taken and those who live on ignite in us a firm resolve to honor their sacrifice,” Pilch said. “These Airmen did not falter to answer the call to serve our nation and their legacy lives on in their brothers and sisters-in-arms. Today’s Nomads who carry the torch forward still fight and still serve our nation with fire from the clouds.”
The names of the fallen are:
From Eglin Air Force Base
Tech. Sgt. Daniel Cafourek
Sgt. Millard Campbell
Senior Airman Earl Cartrette, Jr.
Tech. Sgt. Patrick Fennig
Master Sgt. Kendall Kitson, Jr.
Airman 1st Class Brent Marthaler
Airman 1st Class Brian McVeigh
Tech. Sgt. Thanh Gus Nguyen
Senior Airman Jeremy Taylor
Airman 1st Class Peter Morgera
Airman 1st Class Joseph Rimkus
Airman 1st Class Joshua Woody
From Patrick AFB
Capt. Christopher Adams
Capt. Leland Haun
Master Sgt. Michael Heiser
Staff Sgt. Kevin Johnson
Airman 1st Class Justin Wood
From Offutt AFB
Staff Sgt. Ronald King
From Wright-Patterson AFB
Airman 1st Class Christopher Lester