Good, bad, or indifferent, I have always been goal oriented. And, good, bad, or indifferent, this trait was passed on to my dear Airman. And, today, dear ones, he has acheived a goal that more than 80% of his classmates didn't. He earned one of these:
The one on the left is his first badge; the others come with time and experience. It is called a "crab" and this is what it stand for:
The Wreath is symbolic of the achievements and laurels gained in minimizing accident potentials, through the ingenuity and devotion to duty of its members. It is in memory of those EOD personnel who gave their lives while performing EOD duties.
The Bomb is copied from the design of the World War II Bomb Disposal Badge and represents the historic and major objective of the EOD attack, the unexploded bomb. The three fins represent the major areas of nuclear, conventional and chemical/biological interest.
Lightning Bolts symbolize the potential destructive power of the bomb and the courage and professionalism of EOD personnel in their endeavors to reduce hazards as well as to render explosive ordnance harmless.
The Shield represents the EOD mission — prevent a detonation and protect the surrounding area and property to the utmost.
While I alternate between crying from pride and great fear that he will now be in the field doing what the Air Force has trained him so carefully to do, he is ready, willing, and excited about his next challenge. He will be in Japan for a year serving our troops in a variety of ways. And, yes, I will be going to visit in six months, Lord willing.
What more can I say? I am very proud of you, Airman, and I am proud of your service and determination in times that were difficult and challenging. And, most of all, I am proud you are my son.