It's weird for me, as I'm sure it is for others, to look forward to a Memorial Service to honor those EOD Techs that paid the Ultimate Sacrifice last year and all the years prior. We remember.
It's the stirring of intellectual and emotional understanding of the risks involved in wearing the Crab and the camaraderie of such a diverse collection of individuals that makes us this amazing group of brothers and sisters. I'd equate this coming weekend to taking the cast from Big Bang Theory and James Bond and dropping them into the set of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.
For me, the first weekend in May is a mixed bag emotions between mourning the loss and celebrating the Warrior while simultaneously not understanding the true scope of pain the family of Warrior must be experiencing. For them, it doesn't end this weekend. For an infant or young child never fully knowing Mommy or Daddy's voice or even a hug, it lasts a lifetime.
As I walk through the doors to the Auction and then stand at the Memorial, I will feel many emotions. Pain, Loss, Pride in our EOD community, the hugs and handshakes of old friends and team mates but I'll mainly feel gratitude.
I am truly grateful for the Techs that paved the way for me to follow, for the Techs I served with, for those Techs that came after me, for those wearing the Crab now and especially for those that Gave All.