It’s estimated that there are over 1.4 million members of the military. Among them are approximately 7,000 specialists who perform the most dangerous occupation in the military, which is disarming bombs. These men and women are known Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technicians. While EOD personnel work to keep others safe, most people have no idea what’s involved in a day on the job for them.
“EOD is a job that most of us can only imagine taking place in an action movie,” explains Nicole Motsek, the executive director of the EOD Warrior Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps EOD veterans and their families. “Their work is extremely dangerous, critical and lifesaving. EOD personnel sustain some of the most severe and often life-changing injuries. This community has suffered great loss over the last 14 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we are committed to continue supporting them on their journey of healing here at home.”
Here are some facts to know about EOD technicians:
- Both men and women serve as EODtechnicians, in the Army, Marines, Navy, and Air Force.
- Those who serve in this position are highly trained members of the military. They have been trained in how to handle improvised, conventional, chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons both on land and underwater.
- EODis considered to be the most dangerous job in the military.
- EODtechnicians have dismantled and destroyed tens of thousands of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) over the last 14 years. IEDs are responsible for the majority of fatalities and severe injuries to U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Many EODtechnicians leave the military needing some type of assistance, whether it is financial, physical, or psychological. Severe injuries include, limb loss, paralysis, blindness, traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.
“We now have a great understanding of the types of assistance EOD warriors and their family members need,” added Motsek. “Our mission is to provide them this support and also to highlight the importance of the very elite and humble group of warriors.”
“I remain honored and committed to continuing to grow our organization,” explains Ken Falke, who was an EOD specialist and founded the organization. “We cannot do this alone and know that our EOD family is there for us like we are there for them.”