Air Force Veteran Ben Teal is today's Veteran of the day.

Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Air Force Veteran Ben Teal, who served as a gunner and an explosive ordinance disposal specialist.

Growing up in California, Ben Teal enlisted into the Air Force during the Vietnam War. Upon enlistment, Teal went to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, for basic training. He said basic training was a “piece of cake” and attributes his training to having a good drill instructor. After basic training, Teal went to Lowry Air Force Base in Aurora, Colorado, where he completed gunnery training for the next three months.

After completing gunnery training, Teal went to Osan Air Base in South Korea. For the next 13 months, Teal learned to assemble and store bombs and also worked with missiles. He said locals frequently broke into the ammunition area to steal brass. However, since they used brass to make other products, Teal was not too concerned about the acts.

After finishing his service in South Korea, Teal went to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. There, he continued to work on assembling ammunition for training purposes. He was in Florida for only a year and then went to explosive ordnance disposal school in Indian Head, Maryland. At the school, he learned how to dispose of bombs. His newfound knowledge, in addition to his previous experiences, established him as an explosive ordinance disposal specialist.

Because of the increasing threat of nuclear weapons at the time, Teal went to Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. For the remainder of his time in the Air Force, he taught new recruits how to create and dispose of different explosives. While teaching recruits how to create a daisy chain of explosives, a Turkish shepherd, whose flock ran away upon hearing the blast, shot at Teal. Thankfully, Teal was not injured in this encounter.

Teal served from 1964 to 1968 and left the Air Force as an E-4, known as a “buck sergeant.” He went on to work with Quantic Industries because of his history in explosives.

Thank you for your service!

Nominate a Veteran for #VeteranOfTheDay

Do you want to light up the face of a special Veteran? Have you been wondering how to tell your Veteran they are special to you? VA’s #VeteranOfTheDay social media feature is an opportunity to highlight your Veteran and his/her service.

It’s easy to nominate a Veteran. Visit our blog post about nominating to learn how to create the best submission.

Veterans History Project

This #VeteranOfTheDay profile was created with interviews submitted to the Veterans History Project. The project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war Veterans so that future generations may hear directly from Veterans and better understand the realities of war. Find out more at


Writer: Elizabeth Jefimova, Adrianna Hyland

Editor: Julia Pack, Kristen Whitehurst

Fact checker: Latesha Thornhill, Vivian Hurney

Graphic artist: Deanna Cannon, Jhonry Opinaldo

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Published on Jun. 13, 2021

Estimated reading time is 2.5 min.

Views to date: 137

One Comment

  1. louis a nieves June 17, 2021 at 9:36 pm

    wow i was ar lowry back in 1969 in supply. wow you went from muntions to eod! i served 6 years in the air force and 9 years with the nj air guard. god bless!

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