Eric S Trueblood
March 10, 2011
Killed in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
|From The San Francisco Chronicle sfgate.com
Bomb tech from Alameda is killed in Afghanistan
Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer
San Francisco Chronicle March 11, 2011 03:22 PM Copyright San Francisco Chronicle. All rights reserved.
(03-11) 16:22 PST ALAMEDA --
Staff Sgt. Eric Trueblood of Alameda downplayed the dangers of being an Army explosives technician, telling his parents that he had received the best training in the world after graduating at the top of his class at a military bomb-disposal school.
Trueblood, 27, died Thursday in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, after enemy forces set off an improvised explosive device, the Defense Department said.
He is the fourth U.S. explosive ordnance disposal technician to die in a week and the second from the Bay Area. Last Saturday, Army Staff Sgt. Mark Wells, 31, of San Jose was killed when he stepped on a hidden bomb.
Preliminary reports indicated that Trueblood, who enlisted in the Army eight years ago, and other soldiers were walking toward a device that had exploded when a second hidden bomb went off, killing him, said his mother, Linda Trueblood of Mountain View.
Trueblood didn't want his family to worry, said his father, Don Trueblood of Walnut Creek. Their concerns were alleviated somewhat by the fact that he had graduated at the top of his class three years ago from the Navy's Explosive Ordnance Disposal School at Eglin Air Force Base.
"He kept saying that they had the best training in the world and that other countries sent their soldiers there to train," Linda Trueblood said.
He was "incredibly committed to the Army and to the EOD team in particular," Don Trueblood said Friday from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, where he was waiting for his son's body to be flown home. "He was very committed to help the military accomplish their mission in Afghanistan," where he was first deployed three years ago.
"My job is pretty cool," Eric Trueblood wrote on his MySpace page. "I can't see why they would actually pay someone to play with explosives. It should probably be the other way around, but I've never argued with a paycheck."
He was also dedicated to his family, his mother said. After learning that his father had fallen ill last summer, Trueblood was at his bedside within 24 hours after securing leave.
Trueblood was with the 391st Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 16th Sustainment Brigade, based at the Spinelli Barracks in Mannheim, Germany.
Besides his parents, he leaves behind his sister, Nena Trueblood, 30.
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