Marine remembers surviving April 18, 1983, Beirut embassy bombing

Last weekend offered Rayford Byers something he hasn’t had since April 18, 1983 — the opportunity to forget.

On that day 37 years ago, Byers was on his way upstairs in the U.S. embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, to pick up the tickets for him and four of his fellow Marines to return to Fort Hood, Texas. Coming down and, later, coming back would be the hardest part.

At 49 years old at the time, Byers was finishing his second tour in the Middle Eastern city as part of the Marine Corps’ efforts to oversee the Palestinian withdrawal from Lebanon. The now-retired warrant officer was ready to go home after training his men in the field; they had returned that day. His men were seated at the dining room when he ran his errand upstairs.

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Source: The Lawton Constitution