Lt. Col. Oliver North to speak at the 48th Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Warrior Foundation Annual Ball at the Emerald Coast Convention in Ft. Walton Beach, FL, Saturday May 7.
The EOD Ball is the main event after a week full of very emotional ceremonies for this elite group of military bomb disposal professionals. These events include a golf tournament Friday morning at Eglin AFB, a live Auction on Friday evening at the same location as the Ball and the EOD Memorial Ceremony at Eglin Air Force Base Saturday morning. The events benefit the EOD Warrior Foundation, the nonprofit that supports and disarms challenges for the EOD Family.
“Our annual Ball is a memorable night for all who attend, and it helps benefit a great cause,” explains Nicole Motsek, executive director of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Warrior Foundation. “It is a tremendous privilege to have Lt Col Oliver North as the Keynote Speaker for this year’s event. This is a night to remember those EOD warriors who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and to honor their families.”
In turn, North stated, “Since my days in Vietnam, I have had the privilege to keep company the brave men and women of the EOD Community. They are saviors on the battlefields who take the long walk to the bomb and go into harm’s way to make the situation safe for others.”
The EOD Warrior Foundation is a nonprofit organization that helps military EOD personnel and veterans and their families. There are around 7,000 Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians in the military, performing the most dangerous job in the military as they disarm explosive devices on the battlefields. Many come home with debilitating injuries, including lost limbs, blindness, paralysis, traumatic brain injuries, burns, and the invisible wounds of war, post-traumatic stress disorder.
Lt Col North is a combat-decorated U.S. Marine who hosts the award-winning military series “War Stories with Oliver North” on the Fox News Channel.
North served as a platoon commander during the Vietnam War, where during his combat service, he was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star Medal, and two Purple Heart medals. At the time of his Silver Star, Second Lieutenant North was a Platoon Commander leading his Marines in Operation Virginia Ridge. North lead a counter assault against the North Vietnamese Army, as his platoon took on heavy machine gun fire and rocket propelled grenades. Throughout the battle, North displayed “courage, dynamic leadership and unwavering devotion to duty in the face of grave personal danger”. He then became an instructor at The Basic School in Quantico, Virginia.
In 1970, North returned to South Vietnam to testify at the trial of LCpl Randy Herrod, a U.S. Marine formerly under his command who had been charged with the mass killing of Vietnamese civilians. North was promoted to captain in 1971 and served as the commanding officer of the U.S. Marine Corps’ Northern Training Area in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. He was later assigned to Marine Corps Headquarters in Arlington, Virginia for 4-years, and was promoted to major and served two years as the operations officer of 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, commanded by then Lt. Col. John Southy Grinalds, 2nd Marine Division in Camp Lejeune at Jacksonville, North Carolina. He attended the Command and Staff Course at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island, and graduated in 1981.
North began his assignment to the National Security Council (NSC) in Washington, D.C., where he served as the deputy director for political–military affairs from 1981 until his reassignment in 1986. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1983. However, many people remember him as a National Security Council staff member during the Iran–Contra affair scandal during the 1980’s. The scandal involved the clandestine sale of weapons to Iran, supposedly to encourage the release of U.S. hostages being held in Lebanon. He is said to have formulated the 2nd part of the plan to divert proceeds from the arms sales to support the Contra rebel groups in Nicaragua, which had been specifically prohibited under the Boland Amendment.