Tuesday, December 18, 2007

For Brent Marthaler and 18 Other USAF Members at Khobar Towers

I ordered my Memorial Bracelet due to having some what of a personal connection to the individual, (A1C Brent Marthaler, USAF), I am honoring and remembering.  It was April 16, 1996 and I was sitting in the living room of our suite at Khobar Towers, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, King Abdul Aziz Air Base, 4404th Wing.  We had cleaned out our bedrooms and were awaiting our replacements from Eglin Air Force Base in the living room of the suite.  We had been there since January 1996, and the second tour from Eglin AFB was coming in to finish out our 6-month commitment at Dhahran.  As our fellow airman were coming into the suite to take their assigned bedrooms I saw A1C Brent Marthaler walk in.  I paid more attention to A1C Brent Marthaler, than the others, not because he was carrying his luggage but a pillow with a cartoon pillow case and due to him taking the bedroom I had just vacated.  Time has robbed my memory of the specific cartoon on the pillow case but I remember thinking how funny it was that even in a potential hostile environment how we all brought certain things with us to help give us some symbolism of home and attempt to make the time more bearable.  Myself and the first half of the tour then left Dhahran later that day and returned to Eglin AFB, FL.  On June 25, 1996 a truck filled with explosives was parked across the street from that very building A1C Brent Marthaler was living in and detonated.  As a result of the explosion A1C Brent Marthaler along with 18 other USAF members were murdered that day.  I have no way of knowing A1C Brent Marthaler's specific location inside that building at the time of the explosion, but can only hope and pray that his death along with the 18 others was quick and painless.  He worked on the flight line as a F-15 crew chief I believe.  I was an Ammo Troop assigned to the 33rd Munitions Flight but had seen A1C Brent Marthaler on the flight line at different times while stationed at Eglin AFB.  So I have chosen to remember A1C Brent Marthaler with this bracelet, not because we were the best of friends, (because I don't think we had ever spoken to one another), but for his ultimate sacrifice he paid for his country on June 25, 1996.  It has been over 11 years since God has seen fit to take A1C Brent Marthaler and the other 18 USAF members home to heaven and as the years pass I find myself remembering these events more often.  And because of this I suppose I need to know that their deaths have not been in vain which is why I choose and am proud to wear this bracelet.  Thank you Memorial Bracelets for allowing me to do so.  

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