EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. - When the Academy Award winning best picture "The Hurt Locker," showcased the dangerous business of defusing bombs in Iraq, actor Jeremy Renner put his acting talents to the test in a portrayal of an Army EOD expert.
But for the son of a Robstown woman, being successful at defusing deadly explosives can mean the difference between life and death.
Army Sgt. B-Wesley S. Sanders, son of Marie Sanders of Robstown, is a student at the Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal School where he will spend close to a year learning the delicate techniques of how to recover, evaluate, safely render and dispose of live ordnance.
For Sanders, paying attention to the details of such things as ordnance identification, disarmament, transportation and disposal, along with such things as rigging principles, recon procedures and biological and chemical training can literally save lives in the very difficult and different battlefield of the 21st Century.
"The training has not had the physicality of other schools, but it has taxed me mentally more than any other endeavor I've undertaken," said Sanders, a 2005 graduate of Tuloso-Midway High School.
The Navy-supported school trains close to 2,000 students each year from all branches of the service. Sanders, like his fellow classmates, volunteered for the difficult school for a reason.
"I decided to become an EOD tech because I watched them in Iraq as an infantry man and knew that I could have a much larger impact on the war with this job," said Sanders.
More than just a Hollywood fascination, Sanders and his fellow EOD students feel that what they learn during this extensive training plays an important part of the life they will lead in the military, especially in danger spots like Iraq and Afghanistan.
"At the present time our career field is a highly needed one due to the threat our forces face overseas," said Sanders. "I think that I could live if I faced an improvised explosive device or bomb thanks to the training here."