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33rd FW holds 26th Annual Khobar Towers Memorial Ceremony

  • Published
  • By Airman Christian Corely
  • 33rd Fighter Wing

Members of the 33rd Fighter Wing held the 26th Annual Khobar Towers Memorial Ceremony, June 23, to honor 12 Nomads and seven Airmen who lost their lives in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

On June 25, 1996, a sewage truck was used as a bomb and detonated near the housing complex where military, coalition partners and civilians lived.

“We are gathered here today, just as we have for the last 26 years, as Nomads past and present and as survivors and family members, to pay our respects, to honor the sacrifice, to thank God for the survivors, and to remember our 12 Nomads who gave their lives that day in service of a grateful nation,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Jack Arthaud, commander of the 33rd Fighter Wing. “It is a privilege to be here with you today.”

Khobar Towers housed approximately 3,000 Air Force personnel and several hundred U.S. Army troops. The attack left 498 U.S. and international military members and civilians injured.

“This was the bloodiest attack on America, between the Beirut Marine barracks bombing in 1983, and September 11, 2001,” said Arthaud. “The immediate heroism and steadfast response of our Airmen and coalition partners following the Khobar Towers attack demonstrated the virtuous character of our Nomads and the justice of our purpose.”

A monument of the 33rd FW’s flaming sword emblem was built to commemorate the Airmen lost that day. Every year, a ceremony is held to reflect on the event and to honor those who died.

“We must never forget,” said Arthaud. “Part of our responsibility is to share the story and the background of this heinous terrorist attack and our Airmen’s heroic response.”

The names of the fallen are below:

58th Fighter Squadron:

Master Sgt. Kendall K. Kitson, Jr. - Yukon, Oklahoma

Tech. Sgt. Daniel B. Cafourek - Watertown, South Dakota

Staff Sgt. Millard D. Campbell - Angelton, Texas

Senior Airman Earl F. Cartrette, Jr. - Sellersbug, Indiana

Airman 1st Class Brent E. Mathaler - Cambridge, Minnesota

Airman 1st Class Brian W. McVeigh - Debary, Florida

Airman 1st Class Joseph E. Rimkus - Madison, Illinois

Airman 1st Class Joshua E. Woody - Corning, California


60th Fighter Squadron:

Tech. Sgt. Patrick P. Fennig - Greendale, Wisconsin


33rd Logistics Group:

Tech. Sgt. Thanh V. (Gus) Nguyen - Panama City, Florida


33rd Operations Support Squadron:

Airman 1st Class Peter J. Morgera - Stratham, New Hampshire


33rd Maintenance Squadron:

Senior Airman Jeremy A. Taylor - Rosehill, Kansas


Patrick Air Force Base:

Capt. Christopher Adams - Massapaque Park, New York

Capt. Leland Timothy Haun - Fresno County, California

Master Sgt. Michael Heiser - Palm Coast, Florida

Staff Sgt. Kevin Johnson - Shreveport, Louisiana

Airman 1st Class Justin Wood - Modesto, California


Offutt Air Force Base:

Staff Sgt. Ronald King - Battle Creek, Michigan


Wright-Patterson Air Force Base:

Airman 1st Class Christopher Lester - Wyoming County, West Virginia