Guest Post: Meet LT Brad Snyder, Paralympian

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Guest Post: Meet LT Brad Snyder, Paralympian

From my buddy Kilo.

Here is a story about one of our Wounded Warriors and member of the elite corps of Navy EOD Technicians and one I feel that readers might enjoy. What’s the difference between them and the rest of the EOD Community? Primarily Dive School, Free Fall Parachutist School, and an additional block at EOD School for Underwater Demolitions. Navy EOD is the only dedicated EOD SOF support in the community and thus goes through additional training to work alongside SEALs and other SF elements they may be attached to.

I met Brad last year while working at the CEXC Lab on KAF. He had come over to get some samples of the different fertilizers the teams might come across and was concerned about confiscating the wrong type (primarily Urea which can be weaponized through a specific process but is still legal). Without having an extensive knowledge of these fertilizers it can be difficult to tell the difference on the ground (especially if you’re not trained in manufacturing HME). I hooked him up and sent him on his way. Later that year while on a mission, Brad was wounded rushing to aid an Afghan Commando who had stepped on a PMN mine and subsequently was wounded himself, losing his eyesight. This has not stopped Brad however, as he is actively training for the Paralympics. Read more about Brad’s story here:

Lt. Brad Snyder slices through the watery warmth with powerful movements and methodical rhythm. Each arm stroke is tallied, each breath measured as he glides forward in a sharp, precise line. He knows that a coach is watching, that a big clock is ticking, that a concrete wall is looming. He sees none of it. But away from the hard edges and surprise bumps of his dark, new world, Snyder senses, finally, he is gaining some serious ground. “In the pool, I feel efficient, comfortable, like I know what I’m doing. Such an amazing feeling,” he said. “Everything else, I’ve had to figure out all over again — like being a child again, and you suck at everything. It’s so refreshing to be good at something.”

And if you want to join Team Brad get a shirt and follow his updates here.

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.