Greetings and happy new week! 😀
Chapter FOUR be posted!! *does happy jig*
So, what to say about this chapter?
It was fun to write. Very fun. The story of the EOD bomb suit is true, and it happens. Repeatedly. Sometimes with vigor. Eventually the team learns, but tears will usually be involved before the lesson drives itself home.
Until then, some will laugh. Others will cry. Just depends on what your last name is and how the instructor wanted to torture you for the day. 😉
So… US Air Force EOD – Explosive Ordnance Disposal.
The most elite of the US military is always a volunteer gig. It doesn’t matter if it is the Special Forces:
- Army Berets – motto is “De Oppresso Liber”
- Army Rangers – motto is “Sua Sponte (Of Their Own Accord) – 75th Ranger Regiment and “Rangers Lead The Way” – Army Ranger-qualified soldiers.
- Marine Force Recon – motto is “Celer, Silens, Mortalis” (“Swift, Silent, Deadly.”)
- Navy SEALs – motto is “Ready to Lead, Ready to Follow, Never Quit.”
- Air Force Combat Control – motto is “First There.”
- Air Force Pararescue – motto is “That Others May Live.”
Or Specialists. And…
Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technicians are specialists.
EOD-Techs are usually embedded with Special Forces – not always. The exception, from what I was told, is the Green Berets. The person who answered my random question wasn’t a Green Beret, so I’m not entirely sure. I will have to ask around some more.
Supposedly, Green Berets have had some EOD training. Not the whole training, but enough. They know how to make things go BOOM. Not by accidentally setting something off.
EOD, as a specialist career path, has one of the highest washout rates in the military. For the Air Force, one in four to six graduate at the very end. It all depends on the makeup of the class. There are plenty of strong people. They are plenty of smart people.
But EOD requires the candidates to be both strong and smart. Civilian EOD-techs can typically perform their jobs in a controlled environment. Military EOD-techs do not have this luxury.
Sometimes the area they’re working in is clear of hostiles. That is rarely the case, but the Air Force (as does all other branches, I’m sure) tries to protect their specialists. It’s difficult enough finding candidates able to survive the testing and the training. It is ridiculously simple to lose them.
Because hostiles have learned who it is they need to target. And they will. One less EOD on the ground means the better chances of hostile IEDs – Improvised Explosive Devices – succeeding. Just like our military has no qualms about neutralizing their hostile force, they have no qualms about sending our military men and women home in body bags.
That is, if we were lucky enough to find pieces of our men and women left to be sent home in body bags.
And these specialists?
They begin their training anywhere from the ages of eighteen to… the cut-off point is thirty-two. It comes down to physical endurance on some things, and the people responsible for putting the candidates through hell will make sure every person has what it takes – both as an individual and as a team – to do what they were trained to do while in hostile environments.
It’s one thing, for me as a person, to know that the people going overseas to fight were my superiors in age. In my thirties now, realizing that the people who continue to fight are at least ten years my junior makes me want to cry every time I hear another IED (Improvised Explosive Device) had taken another son or daughter.
Or a whole team of them.
Nobody in the civilian world will ever understand, try as one might, what these people go through and see. They all carry scars not obvious to us, and unlike most people who likes throwing “PTSD” (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) as one reason or another for why they can’t function in society because of traumatic experiences…
These men and women suffer in silence. In part because there are no words to adequately describe what it is they have seen and experienced – or lost in some cases. The biggest part is because these details are classified, and unlike civilian law…
The UCMJ – Uniform Code of Military Justice – applies to everyone who served and is serving. It doesn’t stop applying just because one moved from active service to (in)active reserves. They take all sensitive information they know to the grave.
UCMJ first, Civilian Law second.
And in knowing that, take a moment to remember the men and women and their spouses – and in most cases, their children – who live a very different lifestyle. This is a family structure where silence is the standard and verbal communication is the exception.
That’s why a lot of military brats will often comment about how quiet or distant one or both of their parents could be. Or the way they handle discipline or have expectations that are vastly different from civilians. It’s simply what they know.
They’ve taken an oath for life. This applies not to just the Special Forces but also the Specialists and all the other service men and women (and their families) who play a part in fighting against (our definition of) oppression.
On a final disclaimer note, for security purposes, any and all information you might gleam from a story dates to before 2001 – cut off point being the 9/11/2001 attack on the World Trade Center in New York.
Now… for the thing we all hate.
- Beta’d by the tall, brunette, and moon-tanned Bitworks.
- Proofreading and editing all done by me; therefore, all mistakes are mine.
- It is copyrighted. I will take every available action known to me if it is stolen and/or submitted to a creative writing workshop class as your own work. Think Athena with Her Father’s Lighting Bolt. And Hera’s wrath.
I hope you enjoy the new chapter. You can find the link to the new chapter RIGHT HERE.
Have an awesome week and weekend. Our leaves are slowly turning already. I’m looking forward to the cold. I have missed it in these few short months.
😀 😀 😀
Much Love drizzled with syrup.