EOD reservist helps excavate Vietnam-era plane crash site

HILL AIR FORCE BASE — Senior Master Sgt. Eric Eberhard, 419th Explosive Ordnance Disposal, is deployed as part of a recovery team tasked to excavate a Laos crash site from the Vietnam era.

The two-month deployment is a Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency mission, which includes day-to-day operations to research, identify, and recover Americans who were killed in action but were never brought home.

“It is a great privilege and honor to be here,” Eberhard said. “Putting up with the heat, bugs, long days of sifting through dirt on a mountainside, and a leave of absence from my family are very small prices to pay for the opportunity to repatriate and reunite a few MIAs with their families.”

EOD personnel are often deployed on DPAA missions due to their expertise in identifying land mines and unexploded ordnance.

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