By Andrea Sutherland (Fort Carson)April 25, 2013
FORT CARSON, Colo. -- Explosions run in Spc. Matthew Kumpe's Family.
"My wife and I are in the fireworks business," said Mike Kumpe, Matthew Kumpe's father. "But we have nothing like this. This is a little bit bigger."
Three generations of Kumpes joined other Families of the 663rd Ordnance Company, 242nd Explosive Ordnance Disposal Battalion, 71st Ordnance Group (EOD), at Range 121 for the Family Demo Day, Saturday.
"I think this is a good thing," Mike Kumpe said. "Talking, visiting, bringing Families in, I think it's nice they get acquainted. And seeing the explosions are exciting."
Family members witnessed explosive demonstrations put on by EOD Soldiers, test-drove military robots and tried on bomb suits.
"It's always fun to see more," said Lauren Bagley, wife of Sgt. Matthew Bagley. "That way when they talk about it, you know what they're talking about."
Sadie Savannah donned an EOD Bomb Disposal Suit, getting a taste of an EOD technician's world.
"It's so heavy," she said. "It hurts your neck."
Savannah said the suit was hot and made her feel claustrophobic.
"I give them major props for being able to do that," she said.
"This event is a good way to spend more time together with loved ones before the deployment," said 1st Lt. Patrick Ting, officer in charge for the event.
Set to deploy in the summer, EOD techs enjoyed the opportunity to bond with their spouses and children.
"It's a nice thing to do and it doesn't happen often," said 1st Lt. Adam Lawrence. "We're about to leave soon so it's fun to get the Families together."
Matthew Kumpe's children said they enjoyed operating the robots.
"I like that you see it through your glasses," said Kamton Kumpe, 10.
"It was like seeing it through an Iron Man suit," Kedan Kumpe, 9, said.
"It's fun for them," Matthew Kumpe said. "They only get to hear secondhand what we do. They know, but it's not the same as being out here.