Major Kevin Farris

Kevin Farris, a burly, 39-year-old redhead from Lone Star, Texas, is called out one day when a couple of GIs, smoking in the sunshine outside the old aircraft hangar that houses the U.S. military command, get to wondering, what-in-hell’s that stickin’ out of the wall up there?  Maj. Farris is with EOD, Explosive Ordnance Disposal. He peers up at the thing embedded in the outside wall of the commanding general’s bedroom. It’s a powerful Russian rocket, dating back probably to the Soviet-Afghan war of the 1980s. Farris can disarm it, all right. But first he goes inside the command center and tells the brass that if the thing goes off, “I can protect you against shrapnel but not against blast.” The commanders scurry out and take cover. Worst case, Farris confides, that missile could blow up the command post, all the communications equipment, the mess tent, a row of helicopters—even the latrines. Gingerly, he and his men have a look. The thing is harmlessly inert. Another day, another dud.

But Farris does find plenty of stuff around here to blow up. He drags it out to the far side of the runway and cooks it off with a piece of C-4 explosive. You locate Farris on this sprawling base by the sound of explosions. “Fun?” he asks incredulously. “If didn’t have a wife and sailboat, I’d never go home!”

Staff Sergeant Dirk Sheffer
PFC Ryan Odom
Staff Sergeant George Smith
Major Kevin Farris
Command Sgt. Maj. Frank Grippe
Maj. Gen. Franklin L. “Buster” Hagenbeck
Lt. Col. Fred Hoadley
Specialist Steven Merkley
Maj. Jerry Curran, M.D.

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