At 34, I was deployed to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. I was assigned as the law office manager of the 4404th Wing (Provisional), Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, located in Khobar Towers. I spent that Memorial Day at "The Oasis," which consisted of a huge "L" shaped swimming pool, barbecue pit and driving range. It was 118 degrees that day and the pool was packed. Songs with lyrics about freedom and America blared over the loud speakers. By that time I had learned a little bit about the culture of the country I was living in. I had been stationed at Zaragoza Air Base, Spain, and Incirlik AB, Turkey, and had seen how those cultures were very different from ours. The differences in Saudi Arabia far exceeded anything I had experienced before. That Memorial Day I felt deep gratitude for being born an American and for the opportunity to contribute, however minutely, to preserving my country's way of life. On June 25, 1996, I played volleyball with my squadron and then went to the rec. center. Around 10:00 p.m. the lights in the building flickered, there was a deep boom, and then glass and concrete were blown in on us. Furniture, along with people, was thrown across the room. When I got out of the building I saw a huge gray-orange mushroom-shaped cloud in the sky. I smelled sulfur in the air. I ran over to one of the two buildings closest to the blast. The door was blocked with debris. I could hear people screaming inside. I helped to clear an opening so people could get out. We then started searching inside for those who might be trapped. When we got to the fourth floor we found a young man lying in blood. He was wearing only shorts. He had a deep gash on the left side of his lower chest, someone covered with the palm of their hand. The room next to us was on fire. We found a door blown off its hinges and used it as a gurney and carried the injured man down the four flights of stairs. When we got outside we laid him on top of a wooden picnic table. I stayed with him, and took over applying pressure to his injury. I covered it as tight as I could to keep the blood inside with my right hand. I held his left hand with my left hand. He was in shock. I told him to hang on. He said "Oh God...Oh, God." He was so brave. He died within a few minutes just as medical personnel started arriving. I watched them carry his body away and put it on a blue military bus. When I turned back another bleeding man had been placed on the picnic table. He had a deep cut along the right side of his face and eye. He also had two deep cuts above his waist. Medical personnel were handing out first-aid kits and we were able to bandage his wounds fairly quickly. He was placed on a different bus. The chief of Security Police told us to pass the word that everyone should gather at the Desert Rose, which was our dining facility, and try to find our unit. At the Desert Rose, there were hundreds of injured men and women. The dining facility was transformed into a make shift hospital. Those of us who were not injured worked through the night sweeping glass, clearing debris, and making sleeping areas for those whose quarters were destroyed. The next morning I learned that 19 American airmen were killed. More than 400 others were injured. I later learned that five of the airmen who died were from my home base -- Patrick Air Force Base, Fla. Not a day has passed that I haven't thought about that one young man and the other 18 men who died that night. And that is how it should be. They paid the ultimate sacrifice for their Country... for our country.