U.S. Navy EOD Class Honors Fallen Heroes During Training

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. - Some video News 13 shared on Facebook of a group of military servicemen running down Panama City Beach went viral this weekend.

The group caught the attention of beach goers who took out their phones to record videos and take pictures.

In many of the videos, you can hear the crowds cheering. You can also see some people standing up from their beach chairs as they run by.

News 13 learned Wednesday the group of men are training at the Naval Diving and Salvage Training Center to become Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technicians.

"It definitely gives us more motivation when we see the crowds," said EOD1 Robert Zipperer, who is an instructor at the training center.

The run on the beach symbolizes a major step in the sailors' careers, as they move from the junior class to the senior class and prepare to move to Eglin Air Force Base to continue their training.

However, their run that day was different.

The man running in front was carrying a large American flag with a special meaning.

"We fly that flag, the one behind me on that memorial wall, on the anniversary of any EOD Tech who has fallen in the line of duty since September 11th," Zipperer said.

The memorial is on display inside one of the EOD classrooms at the training center. The photos of 21 men hang around the flag in the center.

"We never want to forget the guys who have gone before us. A lot of us here, as instructors, have friends on the wall, people who have taught us everything we know, and we just never want them to die twice," Zipperer said.


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