Under bright and beautiful September skies, throngs of people came out Saturday to honor the EOD Wounded Warriors for the fifth year at the annual “Battle at the Beach” held at the American Legion Post in Colonial Beach.
The Color Guard from Dahlgren began the afternoon as they marched from the street to the stage in their Navy whites. The flag was saluted and our national anthem was sung so beautifully by Gina from popular duo…Wave on Wave. .
The EOD, Explosive Ordinance Disposal, warriors have one of the highest death and injury rates in the service. These soldiers go after the explosive traps, such as “Improvised Explosive Devices” and other bombs meant to kill and maim. This event, in its fifth year, helps those EOD families who have suffered tremendous loss from death and injury. Many bands and performers have donated their time and talent over the years to help raise money for the cause.
This year, “ Wave on Wave,” “Six Guns South” and “Jet Black,” the amazing Toby Keith look alike, set the place rocking for six hours with great music. A literal army of volunteers sold raffles and T-shirts, cooked food, served beverages and maintained the premises. It was an effort by many for many. EOD ambassador James Harrison, president of the Son’s of the Legion at the Post 148, became involved in this over five years ago and lit a fire that will never be put out.
Bikers from the Combat veterans, EOD and others lined the fence along the Potomac as they rode in support of their brothers. The EOD wore vests that had the logo “EOD forever” on them. Some other riders had patches that said “Never Forget” or “All Gave Some and Some Gave All.” It was at once sobering and uplifting to see these heroes. As some folks said, what would this event be without the bikes.
The bomb squad from Dahlgren brought their large truck containing apparatus used not only in Afghanistan and Iraq but domestically to protect us. Robots with mechanical arms for various situations were demonstrated. Some could reach through windows with long grips. Behind every robot is a highly skilled and trained operator.
When the last strain of music would ring out, there were tents to come down, tables to be put away, food to be taken care of and other tasks. Money would be counted and every penny, more than $7,000, would go to the EOD wounded warrior association. The volunteers were really dedicated. As an annual event, it would be back. As long as there was a need to help, there would be those ready and willing to provide it. As the vests said, “EOD Forever.”