I remember the lights “browning out”, the building begin shaking and someone shouting to get on the floor. I looked up and could see the concrete dust coming out of the cracks of the concrete ceiling. The constant banging sounded like the elevator was falling and hitting every floor on the way down. I recall staying in place on the floor until the shaking stopped. Afterward, I got up, dusted myself off and moved over to look at the elevators. What I saw, I could not understand. I thoroughly expected to see the elevator doors split and damaged. What I saw was glass impaled into the metal elevator doors and concrete walls. I did not understand until I turned toward the doors and saw the contorted frames blown in with glass everywhere. Directly in line of sight was a huge “mushroom” cloud beyond what I suspected was my building, 129. That is when it all began to make sense. Immediately after realizing what had happened, myself, the guy I was with and the airman I supervised, went through the contorted frames over the glass and down the stairs to the armory window and started pounding on it until the armorer opened the window. He opened the window and asked what the hell had just happened. We demanded our M-16 rifles after shortly explaining with expletives what had just occurred. We received our M-16’s put the magazine in and released the bolt… thus chambering a round. We had been hit, game on. Shortly (seconds to a minute) afterward, the Chief and Operations Officer gathered us who were there to get body armor, Kevlar helmets, etc. from Staff Sergeant Ronald (Rudy) Neldon so we could respond. Here we were, dressed in civilian clothes, carrying M-16 rifles in partial body armor (by choice) responding to the scene of the attack. Speed was essential. Somewhere in this chaos, a group of us met at the Desert Rose after arming for a quick head-count but it was all but impossible. Everyone from every squadron was mixed together. I remember a crowd of people running at us from the area of the attack believing there was a secondary device. You either ran or got run over. In all that chaos, I remember seeing a friend of mine from a previous base, Sr. Airman Mike Reece … and welcomed him to Dhahran. I remember Lt. Colonel Traister seemingly looking stunned that we had rifles (loaded) in civilian attire. I honestly do not know if he realized the scope of the attack at that point. Finally… a short period of time afterward, we were allowed to move up on the attack site. Within seconds we had enough people to move up to the bomb site. Along the way, Third Country National's (TCN ’s) were challenged, put on the ground and tie-wrapped. I remember seeing one Security Policeman (Airman 1st Class Nate Balloy) in civilian attire with a gash across his thigh … he didn’t even realize it himself. We made him sit down … it was then he realized it and went into a minor state of shock. I remember moving up to the site of the attack, looking up at the sky through the shade above the sidewalks to a sky full of refraction in the dust from the flames of burning trees & bushes, flying debris, etc. wondering what we were in for when we got there. As we got on scene, the Captain was right behind us and stated to me “shoot anyone who comes through the hole in the perimeter.” I recall the other men with me did not agree with the order either, so we did not. There was a Saudi running toward us with an AK-47 rifle and in traditional attire; I remember this to this day. I did not engage him for two reasons. For one, I did not know how to challenge him in Arabic and he was holding the AK-47 in a ‘low-ready’ position. He had the opportunity, the capability … but did not show intent. I took cover and followed him in my sights to watch his actions. As he got the site he shouldered the rifle and began to help. Come to find out, the man with the AK was a Saudi Arabian policeman responding to assist. Shortly afterward, Lt. Col. Traister was on scene and had asked how we were doing. John and I stated that we were okay but we had thought the Captain was not giving lawful orders. Airman 1st Class John Hubbell was standing next to Lt. Col. Traister when he demanded the Captain's sidearm and ordered him to his billet indefinitely. It is my understanding the Captain was relieved from duty on the spot and either a resignation or court martial was the end of his career. John and I were posted at the base of Bldg. 131 on the right side in-between the underground parking garage. The first body was brought out on an orange litter and set on the ground right next to me. I could not understand what I was seeing… why was nobody helping this man? The rescue personnel returned to my relief but simply rolled the man out of the litter on the ground. This man had no face or right arm below the elbow. I covered the body with a piece of cardboard to protect him from the media cameras that had arrived… not to mention the fact I did not want to see that all night. It got to be a little bit of a shoving match between us and the Saudi’s to keep the body covered. We won. There was a second body recovered and was put into the back of an ambulance that had recently arrived. I had to ask John to see if there was any identification. I regret that to this day because I know how it affected him… and have apologized on many occasions. The rest of the night was the same thing, expediting rescue vehicles in and out, attempting to speak with the Saudi’s through language barriers, picking up letters from/to home, pictures of kids and families, etc. We saw almost all of the bodies and body parts recovered from the rubble that night. At one point I was on the left side of the building next to a line of destroyed vehicles parked alongside the road … and looked up at the building. What I saw superimposed an image in my head forever. There was a window about ¾ of the way up the side of the building. The window was gone… and there was an impact mark where someone’s head had hit the wall… and disintegrated. From the window frame on down the wall was a thick truncating blood flow. I looked to my feet and realized I was standing in gray brain matter. Somehow I did not have the appetite for the water I had come to obtain from the Medics. Somehow, someway, Sr. Airman Erin Murphy (from Eglin AFB) was able to get a message through back stateside that we all survived the attack. First Lt. Mark Anarumo was able to contact our families in an expedited manner so they knew we were alive and well. I simply cannot than him enough, as this was my worst thought that they’d “not know” for a while. John and I stayed there all night until about 11am when we were finally relieved. We could not leave our post since there was a huge hole in the perimeter. Try sleeping in 120 degree plus heat with your mind racing after the events of that night. Some of us had to sleep elsewhere since our building; Bldg 129 was damaged badly by the blast. Either way, we didn’t have Air Conditioning or many of our belongings at all. We were lucky to have a complete uniform. At 1800 that same night, we were back to work on the same post. The Saudi’s and fellow Americans were sifting through the debris for clues and for personal property of the deceased. I do not recall what night it was, immediately afterward of the following day, but I found A1C Brent Marthalier’s wallet. I wanted to give it back to him when I saw him but was later told that he was among those killed. I turned it in for evidence at the Law Enforcement Desk (LED). The first night after the attack, everyone from Brigadier General Schwalier on down to the lowest enlisted airman was pretty well burnt out from the previous night. How we all made it through the night was probably sheer adrenalin, anger and spite. By now, I think it was safe to say most of us had been up a good thirty hours with minimal rest … if any at all. The next morning, we were allowed to go back into our original buildings to recover any property we had that was not already destroyed. We could only do this a few at a time with civil engineer representatives considering the building was so badly damaged. As for where I moved to after the attack … I honestly have no recollection of that detail. It was another building (maybe the Squadron?) closer in to the middle of the base… that’s all I can gather. My/Our emphasis was on work and the continued threat, no more. A few days later toward the end of our shift in the morning, there was a bomb threat that was broadcast somehow from the Saudi side to our Coalition side. I was at an Entry Command Post (ECP) on the airbase … and another kid I supervised (mentioned earlier in this recollection) kinda lost it. I remember us in partial Nuclear Biological Chemical (NBC) gear and my grabbing him by the shirt looking up at him (since he was a little taller) and telling him to pull it together. I do not remember his name … but my understanding is that about a year later, he was out of the Air Force entirely.        Sometime after the bombing, maybe even the following night, I found a wooden ladder (seemed to be handmade) along the perimeter inside the fence on the ground. I did call it in to the LED and destroyed the ladder. I do not know any significance it may have had. To be honest, OSI was mad that I had destroyed the ladder. My guess is that it was out of anger from the attack. In hindsight, maybe I thought that since we had TCN’s working on the base, I did not want to take the risk that it might be the work of a collaborator. It might as well have been a ladder used by the Civil Engineering (CE) people too… who knows. We had a team fly in about a week or so after the attack from McConnell AFB, Kansas to help us through the extended shifts and posts. Most of us had not had a day off in a while… at least since the attack. If you may recall, that was my only night off … and that ended rather quickly. They were great … most had a great understanding of what had happened and were willing to help while a select “other” made a comment that “we had to have done something wrong for this to happen”. I lost it … yelled at him from an airman to a Non Commissioned Officer (NCO) … a bad idea, but I was justified. Some of these same senior NCO’s that came in on the support team outwardly questioned why our uniforms were not pressed and why we were not clean shaven. Master Sergeant Epps stood by me and called that person on the carpet afterward and demanded he apologize. He did so grudgingly. We looked that way due to the fact you cannot press a uniform in over 100 degree heat and expect it to stay that way … and also, given all the time we were working, there was not any time at all allocated for much other than sleep. After having half of your belongings destroyed, most barely had basics such as a razor and a complete uniform after being relocated. Some days after the attack, Staff Sergeant Michael Ramos Vargos (RV) and I (probably a few others) volunteered our time during the day (on the far and few days off) to help clean up the mess in the buildings. I believe it was building 128 … there was a lot of blood. One vivid memory was a pair of glasses minus the lenses lying in a pool of blood. There were the bloody palm prints moving across the walls and the blood spattering across the walls adjacent from the sliding glass doors. Everything was destroyed … furniture, beds, mattresses, etc. It all went into the dumpsters aside from personal affects. Those were collected, determined ownership and returned. Working on the Listening & Observation Posts (LPOP’s), Sr. Airman Rob Bryant and I worked together quite a bit. I recall walking up the stairs of Bldg. 130 to the top (8 floors if I remember correctly) since the elevator was blown off its rails and there was no power. There were drops of blood on the first floor, turning to a trickle of blood while moving up the stairs and eventually pools of blood at the top. My guess is that person bled to death. At the base of Bldg 130 … there was the water main … sheared in two from the power of the blast. Often, I think of the attack on Khobar… 25 June, 1996… and think of the family pictures covered in blood, letters written from home expressing excitement for their return, personal affects in the rubble, etc. I still have the Air Force Materiel Command LEADING EDGE magazine with Lt. Col Cochran leaning down to pick up his charging daughter to welcome daddy home after their departure from Saudi Arabia. The cover shows the Kirtland AFB Support Group commander shaking the hand of A1C Jon Schamber, whom I supervised, who was sent back stateside on a Nightingale C-9 after almost losing his left leg below the knee from flying glass. I often think of those who were not able to come home. It was our job as an Air Force Security Police to ensure this happened. There are a lot of us who feel some guilt that could not be a reality. The Saudi “Red Hats” didn’t own up to their responsibility and I strongly believe that they were in cahoots. Oddly enough, the perimeter fence that had been blown up had been previously requested by the Wing Leadership to be moved out from the nearest building by 300 yards. Sadly, that did not occur until directly after the attack. Who had the authority to deny that request?