Life Inside EOD
Six years ago, I had never even heard of Explosive Ordnance Disposal. Now, not a day goes by that I do not think about my husband’s profession. Growing up, I had experience with dangerous jobs thanks to my father’s career as a Sheriff’s Detective and SWAT Officer. I would hear him talk about his team which included former military bomb technicians, however military EOD life was completely unknown to me. When I met my husband, we were both in college. It wasn’t until after we had graduated from Art School that he asked me to be his bride and to follow him on his journey of pursuing his dream profession, Navy EOD.
The first few years of our marriage were either spent apart as he traveled the country, completing various training, or with him emotionally and physically drained from the rigorous schooling. I was not until almost three years after he had talked to a recruiter, that he was finally about to wear the EOD Crab with pride. Navy, Martine, Army, and Air Force EOD Technicians receive training on how to handle and render safe any type of ordnance- from chemical, biological, to nuclear weapons and improvised explosives. Navy EOD receives additional training specializing in rendering safe underwater obstructions.
Not only was my husband formed into a steel-nerved warrior by his community, but so too was our family. I have had to adapt rapidly to a lifestyle built on high stress and high stakes. Being that I battle aggressively ill health and cardiac issues, I was unsure if such a life was right for me. Knowing the toll that my father’s service took on our family made me even more apprehensive. Jobs like this don’t just change the service member, but they trickle down to the little one’s waiting to see if their daddy will be coming home- to the wives wondering if this will be the day her nightmares come true.
I remember the first time I worried about my father’s life. He had been in a shootout on my birthday…. I was two. Raising my children in a similar inferno was something I did not take lightly. With courage and community support I learned to not only survive this life, but to thrive. My children are being taught the meaning of service and sacrifice. Their tiny beating hearts are formed of iron, like all children in this life. I see the strength of our family after having overcome trials thrown at us by this life and I am filled with pride.
When I look around at the families that strand beside ours and my pride literally overflows. I see families battling infertility, separation, loss, injury, death- all while standing unwaveringly behind the mission of American EOD. It was after seeing this community of bravery that I knew my family had found its place. I know that no matter the obstacle- my community, organizations on the forefront of supporting the mission of EOD such as the EOD Warrior Foundation, and the command will be there to ensure our success.
We are a family- a family composed of 1% of our Nation’s forces. We are warriors- from the ones who went before us, to the babies that we hold in our arms. We walk with sure footing and live by the motto of initial success or total failure. We are the community of Explosive Ordnance Disposal and we will never relent.