LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas –
The flag at half mast behind the 37th Training Wing headquarters building during the basic military training graduation parade June 25 served as a visual reminder.
But it wasn't necessary for Marie Campbell. The date - June 25, 1996 - is unforgettable for her and 18 other families. On that day 14 years ago, those families' lives were forever changed when 19 Airmen were killed by a truck bomb explosion at Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
Ms. Campbell's husband, Sgt. Millard Campbell, died in the bombing of the eight-story building where foreign military personnel were housed. Sergeant Campbell, from Angleton, Texas, was deployed from the 58th Fighter Squadron, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.
"I saw the flag at half mast as we were walking over," Ms. Campbell said, who was a special guest along with her husband's sister, Billie Ducharme, at the graduation parade.
"I knew how grateful the other families would feel knowing that their loved ones were honored. We're a pretty tight knit group," she said.
Joint Base San Antonio master sergeant selects recited the Khobar Towers bombing victims' names at the flagpole retreat to conclude Lackland activities of the first JBSA Senior NCO Professional Development Seminar held June 21-25.
At the retreat observance following the parade, a surprised Ms. Campbell was presented the flag by Chief Master Sgt. Juan Lewis, 502nd Air Base Wing command chief.
Chief Master Sgt. Linus Jordan, 2nd Air Force command chief, also participated in the presentation. The flag was encased after the presentation and given to Ms. Campbell at the seminar's concluding banquet June 25.
"This day is always hard," said Ms. Campbell, who now lives in Dallas. "I was thinking about all of our fallen heroes (as the names were called).
"I volunteered for years for a non-profit veterans organization that helps military families who have lost a loved one and I started working for them last year. It's a way to heal."