Fallen Rescue Warriors Remembered At Patrick Air Force Base

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Among the fallen were Capt. Christopher J. Adams, Capt. Leland T. Haun, Master Sgt. Michael G. Heiser, Staff Sgt. Kevin J. Johnson and Airman First Class Justin R. Wood were the five Airmen formally based at Patrick.

A memorial ceremony was held by Rescue Warriors of the 920th Rescue Wing, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, to honor the memory and service of five Rescue Airmen who lost their lives 19 years earlier after a terrorist bombing of the Khobar Towers, a dormitory where Airmen were housed while deployed. (U.S. Air Force photo/Matthew Jurgens)

A memorial ceremony was held by Rescue Warriors of the 920th Rescue Wing, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, to honor the memory and service of five Rescue Airmen who lost their lives 19 years earlier after a terrorist bombing of the Khobar Towers, a dormitory where Airmen were housed while deployed. (U.S. Air Force photo/Matthew Jurgens)

BREVARD COUNTY • PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, FLORIDA – Under crystal blue skies here a memorial ceremony was held by Rescue Warriors of the 920th Rescue Wing to honor the memory and service of five Rescue Airmen who lost their lives 19 years earlier from a terrorist bombing of the Khobar Towers, a dormitory where Airmen were housed while deployed.

Many Patrick past and present personnel attended, including base leadership, survivors of the attack, family members of the fallen and military brethren.

All watched the emotional tribute as the Team Patrick Honor Guard led the ceremonial portion of the tribute.

One such moment was the placing of service dress uniform hats on five empty seats representing the fallen while patriotic music and spoken words accompanied.

“We carry on a legacy of valor,” said Master Sgt. Rafael Rivera, 45th Space Wing Airman and former 1st Rescue Group and Khobar Tower survivor.

Among the fallen were Capt. Christopher J. Adams, Capt. Leland T. Haun, Master Sgt. Michael G. Heiser, Staff Sgt. Kevin J. Johnson and Airman First Class Justin R. Wood were the five Airmen formally based at Patrick.

“In honoring the individuals and their comrades today, means we will never forget,” said Lt. Col. David Anderson, 301st Rescue Squadron commander (part of the 920th RQW).

Families of the fallen observed from the front row.

Jenny Haun, wife of Capt. Haun, said, “They are heroes; my husband remains my hero.”

Shyrl Johnson along with her two sons, Nicholas and Kevin, the family of Staff Sgt. Johnson, were also in attendance.

The memorial service was “wonderful”, said Shyrl Johnson. “Coming back to celebrate their life is awesome.”

Along with the 19 U.S. servicemembers that were killed, one Saudi was also killed and 372, of many nationalities, were wounded as a result of a fuel truck exploding outside the Khobar Towers.

Among those housed in the Khobar Towers were the 1st Rescue Group from Patrick AFB, a deployed fighter squadron from Eglin AFB and support personnel from Wright-Patterson and Offutt Air Bases.

The 1st RG has since been relocated to Moody AFB, Georgia.

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The 920th RQW specializes in combat search and rescue (CSAR) and trains its Rescue Reservists to the highest standards in personnel recovery. More than 20 percent of the Air Force’s CSAR is conducted by the 920th RQW, a Reserve Command Wing.

They operate by the motto, ‘these things we do, that others may live’.

A memorial wall, with photos of the five Rescue Airmen was erected at PAFB’s memorial flag plaza to honor the fallen.

It proudly bears the words, ‘In honor of the 19 Americans who gave their lives in the terrorist bombing at Khobar Towers, Dhahran Air Base on 25 June 1996… “that others may live”‘.

A memorial ceremony was held by Rescue Warriors of the 920th Rescue Wing, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, to honor the memory and service of five Rescue Airmen who lost their lives 19 years earlier after a terrorist bombing of the Khobar Towers, a dormitory where Airmen were housed while deployed. (U.S. Air Force photo/Matthew Jurgens)

A memorial ceremony was held by Rescue Warriors of the 920th Rescue Wing, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, to honor the memory and service of five Rescue Airmen who lost their lives 19 years earlier after a terrorist bombing of the Khobar Towers, a dormitory where Airmen were housed while deployed. (U.S. Air Force photo/Matthew Jurgens)

A memorial ceremony was held by Rescue Warriors of the 920th Rescue Wing, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, to honor the memory and service of five Rescue Airmen who lost their lives 19 years earlier after a terrorist bombing of the Khobar Towers, a dormitory where Airmen were housed while deployed. (U.S. Air Force photo/Matthew Jurgens)

A memorial ceremony was held by Rescue Warriors of the 920th Rescue Wing, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, to honor the memory and service of five Rescue Airmen who lost their lives 19 years earlier after a terrorist bombing of the Khobar Towers, a dormitory where Airmen were housed while deployed. (U.S. Air Force photo/Matthew Jurgens)


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