Fallen Eglin Airmen honored on Khobar Towers 2010 anniversary

A wreath was placed in front of the Khobar Towers Memorial at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. , during a ceremony June 25, 2010 , which marked the 14th anniversary of the tragedy. Almost 100 friends, family and current members of the 33rd Fighter Wing gathered for the remembrance ceremony near the memorial dedicated to the heroism of 12 Airmen lost. The 33rd FW suffered 105 wounded personnel and accounted for 12 of the 19 Airmen killed in the Khobar Towers terrorist attack June 25, 1996 . (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

 

In remembrance

Single roses were laid at the foot the Khobar Towers Memorial Wall at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. , during a ceremony June 25, 2010 , which marked the 14th anniversary of the tragedy. Almost 100 friends, family and current members of the 33rd Fighter Wing gathered for the remembrance ceremony near the memorial dedicated to the heroism of 12 Airmen lost. The 33rd FW suffered 105 wounded personnel and accounted for 12 of the 19 Airmen killed in the Khobar Towers terrorist attack June 25, 1996 . (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

 
Bridget Brooks, 36th Electronic Warfare Squadron, and other family members of the victims of the Khobar Towers bombing watch as the flag is carried off by the base honor guard during a memorial ceremony June 25 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Mrs. Brooks lost her son, Airman 1st Class Joseph Rimkus, in the attack. Almost 100 friends, family and current members of the 33rd Fighter Wing gathered for a remembrance ceremony near the memorial dedicated to the heroism of 12 Airmen lost. The 33 FW suffered 105 wounded personnel and accounted for 12 of the 19 Airmen killed in the Khobar Towers terrorist attack June 25, 1996. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.
Family members of the victims of the Khobar Towers bombing listen to the National Anthem during a ceremony marking the 14th anniversary of the tragedy June 25 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Almost 100 friends, family and current members of the 33rd Fighter Wing gathered for a remembrance ceremony near the memorial dedicated to the heroism of 12 Airmen lost. The 33 FW suffered 105 wounded personnel and accounted for 12 of the 19 Airmen killed in the Khobar Towers terrorist attack June 25, 1996. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.

 

 

Fallen Eglin Airmen honored on Khobar Towers anniversary

by Ashley M. Wright

33rd Fighter Wing Public Affairs


6/25/2010 - EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) -- Approximately 100 people gathered here June 25 to remember the 12 Airmen who made the highest sacrifice in service to the United States on this date 14 years ago .

A terrorist attack at Khobar Towers in Dhahran , Saudi Arabia , resulted in 400 casualties among civilian and military personnel. The 33rd Fighter Wing suffered 105 wounded personnel and accounted for 12 of the 19 Airmen killed on that day. June 25 is the 14th anniversary of the tragedy, and the friends, family and wing members paid tribute to the fallen in a ceremony at the base memorial.

"What I remember is the heart of the 33rd," said Bridget Brooks, mother of Airman 1st Class Joseph E. Rimkus, one of the fallen. "They took care of each other in that moment of pure chaos."

The wing has transitioned from operations to training now and currently is implementing the first Department of Defense joint integrated training center for the F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter.

"We are focused on the future...(but) we recognize the (Eglin Airmen) of today are shaped by those who have gone before," said Marine Col. Arthur Tomassetti, 33rd FW vice commander. "We honor them with remembrance...their sacrifice set a bar that is pretty high."

At the ceremony, the crowd observed a moment of silence by the eternal flame at the monument to the fallen Airmen, as the base honor guard rendered a rifle volley before Taps was played.

"It is an honor," Mrs. Brooks said of the ceremony.

Her son, Airman Rimkus, was on his first temporary duty assignment when he paid the last full measure of devotion to his country.

Members of the 33rd Fighter Wing trace their history back to World War II, deployed F-4 Phantoms to serve in
Vietnam and scored 16 aerial victories in the F-15 Eagle during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. The unit was deployed in support of Operation Southern Watch when a truck bomb exploded near the dormitory housing 33rd FW members.

"Let us now praise these quiet American heroes, who gave their lives in service to
America . May they rest in peace and may their names live on forever," said former President Bill Clinton, days after the attack. "Our (Airmen) have ceased their wandering. They have come home."


The Eglin Airmen who gave their lives June 25, 1996:
Tech. Sgt Daniel Cafourek
Sgt. Millard Dee Campbell
Senior Airman Earl Cartrette, Jr.
Tech. Sgt. Patrick Fennig
Master Sgt. Kendall Kitson, Jr.
 Airman 1st Class Brian McVeigh
Airman 1st Class Peter Morgera
Tech. Sgt. Thanh Gus Nguyen
Airman 1st Class Joseph Rimkus
Senior Airman Jeremy Taylor
Airman 1st Class Joshua Woody
Airman 1st Class Brent Marthaler