A brief self analysis of why I am joining EOD. Short version: I don't know, or much care.
| Recently, I was engaged in discussion with someone I care about a great deal. Nothing especially interesting. We somehow came to the topic of movies, and the Hurt Locker came up. This person said to me, “I can’t imagine what kind of person would go to their recruiter and say they wanted to dismantle bombs”.
It took a lot of willpower not to laugh and say, “Yes you do”.
Allow me to fill in a few gaps. I am currently in the delayed entry program for the United States Navy- meaning, essentially, that in the next few months I will be shipping out to boot camp. And I am going in with the intention of becoming a member of EOD, or explosive ordinance disposal- aka the bomb squad. I haven’t told many people about this. When they ask me what I will be doing in the Navy, I say something that isn’t quite the truth or a lie (for the purposes of anonymity, I leave that much to your imagination). The reasons I don’t tell people why I am choosing this path are much simpler than the reasons I am joining. Quite frankly, they don’t need to worry about me. Because no amount of excessive worrying is going to change my odds of coming home in one piece.
The reasons I am joining EOD are not even well known to myself. That’s half the reason I am writing this, to figure out the whole damn reason, maybe find some sense in it if I put it on paper. Because frankly, I’m well aware that it’s insane. I know and accept that even the greatest expert in the field hits a point where he’s tried to dismantle one too many bombs, and as a result doesn’t go home alive. Or at all, depending on the size and type of ordinance he’s crazy enough to be standing on top of, trying to get the detonators out before it goes off in his face.My brain has registered all of these facts, and I still want to join. And damn it, I can’t find a single good reason.
I don’t think it’s because I’m suicidal. Granted, I’ve been clinically depressed since I was about seven, but I’m not in any hurry to die. And I’ve been doing better in the past few months- partially because of my joining the Navy in the first place, giving me some sort of direction. If I see the death angel at my time, I plan to calmly ask him, “What are the questions to the answers you bring?” But I hope that doesn’t happen for a long time yet.
I would like to be noble and say it’s because I want to save lives with my time in the military, not take them like so many. I don’t want to hurt anybody, but I can’t say I much care about what happens to my species. It’s worth noting that combat skills are taught taught to those in EOD, and I won’t fell any remorse over shooting someone who’s carrying a switch to activate a bomb strapped to a hostage. But you get so many people joining the military just so they can kill someone, and that’s just not why I signed on.
On the other side of the coin, I’m not exactly a pacifist. I really don’t care about the wars of all these countries. Since the beginning, mankind has enjoyed the sport of killing each other, and it will only end when our species has eliminated itself. And yet we think we are a step up the evolutionary ladder from apes. If I didn’t find some way to accept mankind's stupidity, I would lose what’s left of my mind and go on a bloody massacre of my own. So I choose not to care. Let mankind do what it wants, and when the shit really hits the fan and the world starts to end, hand me the popcorn.
Hey, I may be a bit of an asshole, but at least I try to be an honest asshole.
I guess the only real reason I can come up with is insanity, a required trait in this field, I’m sure. But then, they say the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. I, personally, am looking for the same result every time I walk into the projected blast radius- to walk out again.
The only other thing I can think of is to quote Steve Buscemi (It’s pathetic, I know. Shut up): “Because the money’s good, the scenery changes, and they let me use explosives, OK?” Of course, that character lost it & started firing off a machine gun at random objects. Go figure.