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Outside the wire

If you saw the Oscar-nominated film “The Hurt Locker,” you may have been left with the impression that the military’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (E.O.D) team is a men’s only club. But Need to Know traveled to Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio to meet two female E.O.D. specialists. Air Force Staff Sergeant Amber Hanlon and Senior Airman Marie Martinson provide a new face for the elite bomb squad.



  • Kara

    Thank you for this story. My husband is an AF EOD Tech and my father is a retired Navy EOD tech. These men and women deserve all the support they can get.

  • Lloyd McDaniel

    RE: OUTSIDE THE WIRE shown tonight on the Tallahassee Florida PBS station.

    Please! No one take this as any reflection on the two ladies Service, they certainly are to be commended!

    HOWEVER ‘NEED TO KNOW’ once again you did the standard teevee duty of finding conventionally attractive women. I have known many young ladies to enlist in this countries armed forces, and only one or two was what was thought to be ‘attractive’. In fact many of them enlisted BECAUSE they felt unattractive/unloved.
    Instead of SHOWING the ladies who also toil, sweat, and work doing uncomfortable and very dangerous jobs who may not be ‘photogenic’ but just the same SERVE this country, you took two lovely women and showcased them. In fact for the PRIMARY you took the one probably considered the more attractive.
    This verges on criminal. Those of our people who serve deserve to be represented accurately.

  • Denise

    Mr. Lloyd McDaniel, I’m not sure how you took this inspirational story and then turned around and insulted EVERY female who has served and are still serving in the military! In your mind the only women who serve are unattractive, unloved or both! Well, I am a female who serve in the military. I’m loved, educated and attractive. “Need to Know” thank you a great story.

  • Valarie

    Haha, Lloyd, so what you’re saying is…you want them to go from base to base and find some ugly chicks, then interview them about their jobs? Great idea. You’re a genious. That won’t hurt anyones feelings, nor create any tension, or lawsuits. You get on that, Lloyd, go interview some ugly chicks.

  • Gerike

    Great story. It is awesome to finally see EOD getting some decent press. Not sure if I like the way “Hurt Locker” portrayed EOD, but at least people now realize there are people that risk their lives doing things that most would be too afraid to do. I am proud to have served in EOD during my decade in the service and these two are doing the dirty work today, we all loved the job and I miss it a great deal. Young women in EOD have always been go-getters, being one of the most dangerous and challenging jobs women could get into in the military it has always been a leading edge as far as gender integration. It may not be a direct combat unit but in these wars its as close as you can get without driving convoy, or going on assault.

    Keep it up!
    Keep your heads down!
    Keep your eyes open!

  • John

    These women have testicular fortitude! You go young ladies!

  • Inez

    I was too young to join the military during WW11, but not young enough to marry at 18 and have 2 children 15 months apart. I admire anyone who. serves our country These 2 women have guts courage, and a military mind set. I said to one ofmy daughters just the other day, ” I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a soldier.” Thank you, now I know.

  • Grandpa G


    So when they do a piece on men in the military, do they go find the “ugly guys” to be featured? I think not! All stories always have some type of a front to put on.

    These brave young ladies are neither “attractive” or “unattractive/unloved” they appear to me to be two average American women who happen to have very dangerous jobs.

    As a grandfather, I wouln’t want my grandaughter to do this job when she grows up but would respect her if she did. There are not too many women OR MEN who could/would want to do this type of work…IMO! Great vido that makes you proud of them!

  • Jeff

    500 missions? I don’t think so. These two bring nothing to the table. Make no bones about it, women don’t and never have belonged in the EOD community across all the services. These two are poster children for what women haven’t done. PBS needs to do better research. Don’t buy the BS.

  • For truth in recruiting

    This show looked a lot like a recruiting commercial. I doubt that we heard the whole story, just what made it seem glamorous. Did the Air Force pay PBS for this recruiting commercial or was it a free gift from PBS to the AIr Force?

  • peacenow

    YIKES! These brave and willing women sound like great assets to their teams and to their branches. I have no difficulty at all believing that they are capable and courageous warriors. The problem is that the down side of their combat experiences are not even alluded to: The high incidence of Military sexual trauma, of Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress that often follow a service member out of the service and through out their lives. These women are examples of bright and dedicated people who join the services, people with a love of adventure and adrenaline and a desire to be of use. Surely there are better uses for these young people. Surely there are other ways to solve the problems of this world than sacrificing our bright and beautiful youth. War is NOT the answer.

  • Deuces

    @Jeff, you are tool. I have deployed to Afghanistan with both of these ladies. Marie is quiet and reserved but never hesitates to go out on a call. Amber has probably got bigger balls and more courage then you will ever have.