Overseas Civilian Contractors

News and issues relating to Civilian Contractors working Overseas

Wounded EOD hero thanks those who support the troops

Wicked Local Danvers  September 13, 2012

Danvers native Todd Hammond, U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician 1st Class, shows his Purple Heart medal to his then two-year-old daughter as his wife Christine looks on. Hammond was presented the medal for wounds received in action while serving in Afghanistan in 2011.

Every Saturday in downtown Danvers, residents can find Jimmy George, retired Danvers police officer, at his usual post near the flagpole collecting donations for Operation Troop Support.

One weekend George had a handsome young man on crutches donate a few dollars to the cause. It turned out to be Danvers native Todd Hammond, Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician 1st Class in the U.S. Navy. On April 6, 2011, Hammond was clearing suspected Improvised Explosive Devices in the vicinity of an Afghan National Police checkpoint when an IED detonated directly beneath him, causing severe injuries. His wounds resulted in the amputation of his right leg just below the knee, a shattered right femur, a broken left foot and multiple soft tissue injuries as well as traumatic brain injury from the force of the blast.

George recognized the young soldier when Hammond returned home to Danvers to visit his mom, Janet Hammond, while he was recovering at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

“My wife had gone into CVS to get something and I saw Jimmy George sitting out in the Square,” Hammond said. “I hopped over to him and put something in his bucket. Then he came over to our truck and told me that he had a picture of me at his house. He knew who I was and knew of my mom. I remembered him when he was a cop working in downtown Danvers when I was young. And his sons were in Civil Air Patrol with me.”

George who volunteers for Operation Troop Support in Danvers had heard the story of the young soldier. But because Hammond wanted to keep a low profile, few residents knew what the Danvers High School graduate from the Class of 1989 had endured.

Hammond, who served his country for more than 17 years in both the Navy and Marine Corps and was deployed to more than a dozen countries, said as the war rages on he hopes that his story motivates people to continue to support the troops like George does. He has experienced first-hand the difference that care packages, letters and cards sent to soldiers can make, not only to troops in the field but for those wounded warriors at the hospitals when they return home.

Please read more about Todd Hammond at Wicked Local

 

September 13, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Bomb Disposal, Explosive Ordnance Disposal | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wounded EOD warrior returns

by Marine EOD  September 10, 2012

When U.S. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Thomas Howard McRae rolled into a Juneau pizza parlor earlier this week, people couldn’t help but stare.

The two missing legs. The prosthetic arm. The wheelchair.

Then, the grey T-shirt that says, “If you keep staring, they may grow back.”

“You may as well have fun,” McRae said with a sly grin.

The 30-year-old Explosive Ordnance Technician returned to Juneau this week to visit his parents and the place where he was born and raised. It was his first time back since he was wounded by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan on Jan. 16.

McRae was greeted by friends and family, and was feted at a local high school football game held in his honor Saturday evening.

“It was good, although from the bleachers to the field, I can’t really see that far, but I had commentators,” he said, nodding to his father, Tim Ryan, and one of his sisters, Jessica Ryan. “But yeah, it was fun, it was nice. Everybody came out for the most part and said hi.”

From watching the ease with which McRae plays with his 4-year-old daughter, Aidan, and jokes with his family at the restaurant table, it’s hard to imagine that his parents once worried their son would never talk again.

“The scariest part of the whole thing for me was the brain injury,” says Tim. “… It’s scary — when you have a brain injury, they don’t even talk to him, they talk to us, and that’s what I wanted to get rid of.”

Tim elaborated, “They cut a hole in his head and stuck a straw down into his brain, and then they put an instrument down inside the straw and grabbed the (bone) fragment and pulled it out.”

“Yeah,” McRae added, “and then they left the rest. They only pulled out the one.”

“What the blast did was it took the bone structure behind his right eye, and blew it like a shotgun blast into his brain,” Tim explained. “So somewhere on his head, they took part of his skull and replaced the structure behind his eye so his brain didn’t fall down into the eye socket.”

“Because that would have been creepy,” McRae said.

Please read the entire article at Marine EOD

September 10, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Bomb Disposal, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, Improvised Explosive Devices | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Staff Sgt Jonathan Philip Schmidt killed in Afghanistan

 Fay Observer September 5, 2012

An Army carry team moves a transfer case containing the remains of Staff Sgt. Jonathan P. Schmidt at Dover Air Force Base, Del., Monday.

A Fort Bragg soldier killed Saturday in Afghanistan was an explosive ordnance disposal expert who had deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Staff Sgt. Jonathan Philip Schmidt, 28, of Petersburg, Va., was killed when he and others came under fire in Batur Village, Afghanistan.

Schmidt served with the 767th Ordnance Company, 192nd Ordnance Battalion at Fort Bragg.

His higher command, the 20th Support Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., said Schmidt joined the Army in 2003.

His awards include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Combat Action Badge, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terror Service Medal, the Global War on Terror Expeditionary Medal, the NCO Professional Development Ribbon and the Army Service Ribbon.

Schmidt was also awarded the Army Parachutist Badge and the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Basic and Senior Badges.

September 5, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Bomb Disposal, Explosive Ordnance Disposal | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

US Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Sean P Carson killed in Afghanistan Black Hawk Crash

Seattle Associated Press  August 20, 2012

 The Defense Department says a 32-year-old sailor from Des Moines was among seven Americans killed last week when a U.S. military helicopter crashed during a firefight with insurgents in a remote area of southern Afghanistan.

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Petty Officer Technician 1st Class Sean P. Carson died Aug. 16 in the crash northeast of Kandahar.

He was assigned to an explosive ordnance disposal mobile unit in San Diego.

Navy officials say Carson enlisted in May 1999 and graduated from boot camp at recruit training command in Great Lakes, Ill. in August 1999.

His awards and decorations include the Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, Battle Efficiency Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

August 21, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

US Navy EOD Sean P Carson killed in Afghanistan Black Hawk Crash

The Department of Defense has identified another San Diego-based service member killed in a Black Hawk helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan last week.

Sean P. Carson, 32, was assigned to an explosive ordnance disposal mobile unit in San Diego. Carson was an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Petty Officer, first class.

 

August 21, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Bomb Disposal, Explosive Ordnance Disposal | , , , | Leave a comment

Staff Sgt. Eric S. Holman, Explosive Ordnance Disposal, killed by IED in Afghanistan

Post Gazette.com  August 18, 2012

Eric Holman was motivated, meticulous and strong-willed.

Those qualities had served him well during his nine-year Army career, according to his stepmother, Jan Holman.

Staff Sgt. Holman, a 1990 Avonworth graduate, was killed Wednesday in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province by an improvised explosive device, according to the Department of Defense. He was 39.

A large contingent of family members, including his mother, Carol, of Franklin Park, and his father David and stepmother, of Forward Township, Butler County, were at Dover Air Force Base, in Delaware, when his body was brought back to the United States this morning.

“He had planned to make the Army a career,” Jan Holman said. “He liked everything about it.”

After graduating from Penn State in 1995 with a degree in criminal justice, Sgt. Holman held a variety of jobs. He drove cross-country for his father’s trucking company, operated a limousine service and did construction work.

After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, he joined the Army as an enlisted man at age 29. He served with the 82nd Airborne Division and became a member of the Army’s Golden Knights parachute team. “They were like a family for him,” his stepmother said.

About three years ago he began training as an explosive ordnance disposal, or EOD, specialist. Assigned to the 192nd Ordnance Battalion, 52nd Ordnance Group, 20th Support Command, he had been stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C. He had looked forward to his deployment in Afghanistan, which began in January, Jan Holman said. He was scheduled to come home in September.

He had been on patrol with a U.S. Special Forces team in the Afghan mountains when he was killed.

Please see the original and read more here

Fay Observer

A Fort Bragg soldier died Wednesday in Afghanistan of wounds he suffered when he encountered an improvised explosive device, the Defense Department said Friday.

Staff Sgt. Eric S. Holman, 39, of Evans City, Pa., died in Ghazni province. He was assigned to 192nd Ordnance Battalion, 52nd Ordnance Group, 20th Support Command at Fort Bragg.

He was an explosive ordnance disposal soldier, the 20th Support Command said in a press release issued Friday night.

“They are warriors who are properly trained, equipped and integrated to attack, defeat and exploit unexploded ordnance, improvised explosive devices and weapons of mass destruction,” reads the U.S. Army’s website.

Holman used to perform with the Golden Knights, the U.S. Army Parachute Team. “The entire family of the Golden Knights offer our deepest regrets and gratitude to our family member Eric Holman,” the parachute team announced on its Facebook page Thursday. “Thank You and you will be missed.”

Please see the original here

August 17, 2012 Posted by | Afghanistan, Bomb Disposal, Explosive Ordnance Disposal | , , , , | Leave a comment