The 48th Annual Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Memorial Ceremony was hosted May 6 by the Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal.
The ceremony was held at the EOD Memorial next to the Kauffman EOD Training Complex on Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The Kauffman Training Complex is named after Rear Adm. Draper L. Kauffman (1911-1979), the “Father of U.S. Bomb Disposal”.
The EOD community from each of the services gathered to honor the memory of 320 EOD heroes and add six additional EOD technicians to the EOD Memorial:
- Gunner’s Mate Seaman Robert Paul Burr who was killed in action July 16, 1944, while serving in World War II
- Army Tech. Sgt. James H. Eberle, who was killed in action Aug. 23, 1944, while serving in World War II
- Ensign Charles Williams Grice, Sr., who was killed in action May 14, 1945, while serving in World War II
- Army Sgt. 1st Class Biddle Carrol Izard, Jr., who was killed in action June 19, 1968, while serving in Vietnam
- Chief Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Jason Christopher Finan, who was killed in action Oct. 20, 2016, while serving in support of Combined Joint Task Force, Operation Inherent Resolve
- Senior Chief Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Scott Cooper Dayton, who was killed in action Nov. 24, 2016, while serving in support of Combined Joint Task Force, Operation Inherent Resolve.
During the ceremony, a wreath is placed in front of each service’s list of names before they are read aloud. After each list is completed, the names are saluted by an enlisted and officer EOD member. The families of EOD technicians added to the wall each year receive a folded flag that was flown over the memorial.
The memorial is held the first Saturday of every May and represents a sacred time for the EOD community to reflect and remember the heroic actions of fallen EOD warriors.
The schoolhouse’s commander, Navy Capt. Charles Andrews, welcomed the EOD technicians, family and community to the ceremony and explained why they were drawn back to memorial each year.
“The nation will always need individuals willing to fight for a cause greater than themselves,” he said. “Today we pay tribute to 326 EOD technicians who gave the ultimate sacrifice and we pay respect to their families.”
Article adapted from original by Billy Martin, Naval School Explosive Ordnance Disposal Public Affairs