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On with me for this week's podcast is active duty Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician (EOD) Damian. We discuss what led him to join the Navy and talk about his career throughout. Damian gives you guys a combat story from his first rotation, and most importantly we talk about those Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice. We discuss what it's like to lose someone you love, and how it can motivate you to work extremely hard as it has done for both of us. Below is an excerpt.
John: Spending the amount of time you've spent in EOD you've had some guys who've lost limbs, as well as having lost some of your brothers in combat. Is there anyone you'd like to pay a tribute to?
Damian: There's a lot. We just Jason Finan in October from my unit Mobile Unit 3. That hit us hard. He was, in my opinion, EOD Tech I've ever been around. I can't think of anyone more highly regarded than him in my field. He was a good man. I remember telling the guys in my division before he came through with his platoon when he finished you'll say that's the best EOD Tech that ever came through and they all agreed. It was a huge loss. They're all huge. I remember getting the phone call and I just could not.....we're still reeling from that. Jan 2nd, 2012 we lost Chad Regelin. We went to Afghanistan together in Aug 2010. We'd come home from that one and he'd volunteered to go right back. He was with an ODA from 5th Group in Helmand when he was killed. That's still very hard.......you know.... he was such a good kid. It's really hard because to me he was so young.
He was extremely humble; they were aggressive without being reckless. We lost Shawn Carson. We lost Christian Pike he was a CCT (Combat Control Technician). Killed in a firefight that we were in. We always lose the best people. Mark Forester was a CCT that I worked with. My first IED strike was the one he ran over. Calvin Harrison the same day Mark was killed. He was an 18 Delta. Pat Feeks was a SEAL that I worked with. You cross paths with some many people.
John: It's crazy because you go right through the door with the IED, you move and the guys behind you set it off. You're standing in one spot a second later the next guy standing in that same spot gets shot. I use the personal loss as my motivation to honor the memory of the people I lost. You almost feel like they're watching you.
Music provided by Caspian: