Sergeant Ronald Neldon is retired from the U. S. Air Force. After departing, he returned to college at the University of Akron in Ohio, where he graduated three weeks ago. His life story includes an important segment described in the following vignette that originally appeared on the University of Akron website. Memorial Day commemorates the American men and women who died while in military service, like the 19 Airmen described in the vignette. May their souls and those of all veterans who died in service to the USA rest in peace. Had it not been for Ronald Neldon, more may have perished.
On June 25, 1996, Ronald W. Neldon was a security policeman in the U.S. Air Force on a temporary duty assignment in Saudi Arabia when a terrorist truck bomb attack on Khobar Towers killed nineteen American Airmen.
Neldon, who was approximately 300 yards away from the blast site, survived the blast. He immediately evacuated the building he was in, ensuring all personnel exited to a safe area. He then proceeded to the bomb site where he provided first aid to several Air Force members, some of whom were critically injured, and spearheaded the establishment of a physical barrier.
As a result of Neldon’s leadership efforts, a safe, recognizable perimeter was established in minimal time. After the physical barrier was established, he disregarded his own safety by initiating a sweep of the Security Police barracks that had been devastated by the force of the blast and verified that all personnel were evacuated.
In recognition of his meritorious services, Neldon was awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal (with valor device). He was officially inducted into the Military Hall of Fame for Valor on May 7, 2010 at the Ohio State Building in Columbus, OH.
May 7 was also the day Neldon, a marketing management major, graduated from UA with his B.B.A. degree.
Postscript: I am honored to have had Ronald Neldon as a student in a class I taught at the University of Akron during his last semester at the University.