Ventnor’s Bernadette Getzler knows her son Ian, 29, is using all of his talents in a difficult job.
The Naval Academy graduate is a highly trained explosive ordinance disposal technician, whose job is to find and disable explosive devices planted by terrorists and enemy combatants. He parachutes into remote areas and does underwater mine removal, she said.
EOD units work in “a very tight family kind of environment, where teamwork is essential,” said the special education teacher at Linwood’s Seaview Elementary School. “We know how well-trained he is, and he has a huge amount of trust in his teammates. That gives us peace of mind.”
Ian’s roommate at the Naval Academy, Bradley Snyder, also became an EOD tech. He was blinded by an IED in Afghanistan in September 2011, and a year later won two gold medals in swimming at the 2012 Paralympics in London.
When Getzler wanted to honor her son and Snyder, the 56-year-old rower and runner decided to train for the 180-mile, Los Angeles to San Diego, Calif., “Undefeated” bike ride for the Wounded EOD Warriors Foundation. She asked friend John Spurlock, of Northfield, to join her, and he agreed.
In October, she and Spurlock completed the ride with her daughter Christine Getzler-Vaughan, 33, a foreign service officer in Washington, D.C. Spouses Peter Getzler and Christine Spurlock supported the riders. They raised $9,000.
John Spurlock has been a serious cyclist for about 30 years but needed a quadruple bypass two years ago. As difficult as that was, when he saw amputees biking, it brought him to tears.
“My heart surgery doesn’t compare to the daily routine these guys go through,” said the 62-year-old who works for South Jersey Industries.
Long-time Galloway Township teacher David Evans, of Galloway, was elected chairperson of the Atlantic Cape Community College board of trustees on Nov. 27 for a one-year term.
Evans was appointed to the Atlantic Cape Board in 2005 and is a member of the Vietnam Veterans Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Galloway FSA and the American Legion. He is also the former deputy mayor of Galloway Township.
Southern Regional High School teachers John Kaszuba and Leaha Lukas of Southern News Network and Vice Principal Joe Medica helped students produce a Hurricane Sandy Relief Lip Dub. Watch it at www.srsd.net.