"What is it that would possess an individual to walk down range against an inanimate object that presents certain death at the slightest misstep, yet relishes the opportunity to exercise mastery of a situation where you can only get the opportunity to make a mistake once'" asked Capt. Edward W. Eidson, commander of Joint Task Force Troy, United States Forces - Iraq, during his speech at a memorial service held in Al Faw Palace, Camp Victory, May 7. "The names you are about to hear are those brave individuals."

Service members from across Victory Base Complex sat listening in silence as the names of 90 fallen explosive ordinance disposal technicians were called out one by one.

The memorial ceremony is held once a year to honor fallen EOD technicians from World War II to present, said Chief Petty Officer Donald Trink, EOD technician with USF-I JTFT.

The USF-I EOD task force is comprised of members from four of the five major U.S. branches of service.

Service details of each branch stood sequentially in front of the traditional boots, dog tags, M-16 rifle and kevlar display, as they placed new dog-tag chains in honor of the EOD technicians who were killed in 2010.

After each branch added dog tags to the stack, a loud 'We remember' was recited and a four-count hand salute was presented by the representatives.

Since World War I, dog tags remain part of a uniform requirement for each service member. They are intended to help identify remains of a fallen service member. The dog tag is a symbol of service and personal sacrifice of the slain defenders.

All the while, fellow EOD technicians stood tall and proud as the 25th Infantry Division Band played the solemn tune of "Taps."

"EOD technicians perform missions across the spectrum of conflict from destroying retro-grade ordinance to disarming booby traps in order to clear the way for advanced force elements," Eidson said.

"Our forces have served with distinction throughout every conflict and during which, members of our team paid a heavy price," he said. "Tonight we recognize the sacrifice of our brothers and sisters who have crossed the bar before us."

The selfless service and sacrifice of these individuals are exemplary amongst the countless others who serve today and in the past, said Eidson. Performing this ceremony every year is a way to remember the sacrifice of those in this trade.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16