When I was active duty USAF, I was a First Sergeant assigned to the 775th Civil Engineer Squadron at Hill AFB in Utah. The Explosive Ordinance Disposal flight was assigned to the squadron. The three personnel on my Memorial Bracelet lost their lives as a result of a roadside bomb in Iraq. These young military members were bright, intelligent and had their whole lives ahead of them. I left the 775th for another squadron after being their First Sergeant for almost 1.5 years and shortly afterwards was notified of their deaths. As much as it could hit home, it hit home. I remember their departure and how Elizabeth Locke was smiling and simply looking forward to “another” TDY completely unaware she would never make it home. The EOD flight is a family like I’ve never seen before and remembering the memorial service for these three put a dent in my heart. The war they fight and the danger they voluntarily put themselves in is an example of selflessness and a genuine desire to keep America free from terrorism.
These three followed the directions of their commander and chief, no matter what their personal opinions were and died doing so. I will never forget these three and the impact their deaths had on so many people.