In Memory Of  

 

 

 

MSgt. Michael G. Heiser

September 20, 1960  -  June 25, 1996

    This website is dedicated as a Memorial to the memory of Master Sergeant Michael G. Heiser and the 18 other airmen who lost their lives in the Khobar Towers Bombing. 

    This site contains memories and photos of the good times we shared with Mike, as friends and family as well as some of the news articles and memorials related to the bombing and its aftermath. A special section is dedicated to the Nineteen Heroes lost.

       Master Sgt. Michael Heiser joined the 71st Rescue Squadron in December, 1995 as an airborne communications system operator and a C-Flight superintendent. He hadn’t been at the squadron long before he went away to the HC-130 Combat Rescue School at Kirtland AFB, N.M., which is a must for all members of the squadron who participate in rescue operations. He graduated from Kirtland and had only been back in the squadron for a few months before he was sent to Dhahran to put to practice what he spent months learning.

Mike was new, but he made a good first impression on his flight commander, Capt. Ben Walsh. “When I called him in and told him he was going to be the new flight supervisor, Heiser expressed concern to me that he was too new to do a good job. I told him I knew he could do the job or I wouldn’t have selected him. He was that conscientious.”  

In early June of 1996 Mike as a member of the 71st Rescue Squadron was assigned to Operation SOUTHERN WATCH in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, in support of the coalition air operation over Iraq.

Sergeant Dwayne Berry was getting ready to come back to the states and he and Mike were diligently reviewing all that would be needed to know so that Mike could do his best job possible. This was not known by his parents at the time and the best we can figure by fitting the puzzle pieces together, Mike was proud and looking forward to calling home soon and saying, 'Hi Dad, this is First Sgt Mike', the rest would be history. Gary had served for almost 10 years in the capacity of First Sgt of Headquarters Company, 509th RR Group Viet Nam and Field Station Berlin, Germany and Fort Monmouth, NJ.when Mike was just a young boy.  You can just see him thinking out loud, as to how to share this new accomplishment. The only reason Sgt Berry was spared from the attack was because he was downtown shopping for a memento to take home to his wife.

On June 25, 1996, just a few weeks after Mike's arrival in Dhahran, a terrorist truck bomb exploded outside the northern perimeter of Khobar Towers, a facility housing U.S. and allied forces of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH.

Sadly, that call from Mike never came and it's only through internet contacts that we were finally able to meet with Sgt Berry and learn all these good things. We shared many stories and have kept in touch via email and we renewed acquaintance at Maxwell AFB outside dedication Feb 2003.

Estimates of the size of the bomb range from the equivalent of 3,000 to more than 30,000 pounds of TNT. The Task Force estimated that the bomb was between 3,000 and 8,000 pounds, most likely about 5,000 pounds. While U.S. Air Force Security Police observers on the roof of the building overlooking the perimeter identified the attack in progress and alerted many occupants to the threat, evacuation was incomplete when the bomb exploded. Mike and eighteen other heroes were killed in the blast and more than three hundred others were wounded.  The perpetrators escaped.

The lives of Mike’s family and friends had been changed forever. He and the other eighteen heroes will not be forgotten as their spirits live on in all those who knew and loved them.

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The Story of a Lifetime

 

The book "The Story of a Lifetime" is now available as a downloadable Adobe PDF document. The book is dedicated to the memory of Master Sergeant Michael G. Heiser and the 18 other airmen who lost their lives in the Khobar Towers Bombing.

THE  HEISER FOUNDATION MISSION STATEMENT

THE HEISER FOUNDATION FINANCIAL STATEMENT

 

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