Preparing a Shrine.
This weekend will mark the 2013 E.O.D. Memorial Ceremony to honor techs killed in action in the past year.
Who are EOD techs? These are the men and women who, among many other things, find, identify, disable and gather evidence from makeshift bombs — weapons that have become the leading cause of injuries to American service members and that were used in the Boston Marathon terrorist attacks. It is hard to conceive of a profession that is both more essential and more dangerous than this one, and often, as the memorial above suggests, more selfless.
The ceremony is held each May at the E.O.D. Memorial, located directly across the street from the main building of the E.O.D. school on Eglin Air Force Base. The four plaques on the wall list techs killed in action — one plaque for each of the four American military services. The lower photograph, above, shows several Air Force techs killed in recent years.
For each name there was a life. Consider, for just one example from the center of the small section of the list shown above, Technical Sergeant Anthony L, Capra. Sergeant Capra was killed by an improvised explosive device in Iraq in early 2009. He was the father of five. He was killed on his fourth combat tour.
More names will be added to the lists, and read aloud, on Saturday.
To support the EOD Memorial Foundation, go here.
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHS
Top, a working party cleans the memorial ahead of the ceremony. This morning. Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Bottom, detail of the Air Force list.