Special April 3rd Screening at The HUB in Watersound Beach
SANTA ROSA BEACH, FL, March 27, 2019 /24-7PressRelease/ — Six years ago, as a recipient of a house from the not-for profit organization Building Homes for Heroes, Staff Sergeant Aaron Hale celebrated his return to a newly-renovated, mortgage-free Santa Rosa Beach home.
It had been only a year and a few months earlier that Hale, an EOD technician, was blinded and injured severely in Afghanistan when an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated. Now a master chocolatier, the Extra Ordinary Delights’ (E.O.D.) founder with his wife McKayla will introduce a special screening of their remarkable story on the Fox Nation series Building Homes for Heroes to show at The Hub in Watersound Beach on April 3, 2019 from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. Selections from E.O.D. Confections will be for sale.
In his first enlistment, Hale had been a chef for the admiral and guest dignitaries of the 6th Fleet. A master of career reinvention, the sightless and nearly deaf 8-year Navy veteran and 6-year Army veteran of one tour in Iraq and two in Afghanistan, Hale reengaged his earlier passion for cooking after the bomb blast. When neighbors offered to buy more of the surplus sweet treats that McKayla spirited away at Thanksgivings when Aaron baked too much, the Hales turned his love of baking into a confections business. E.O.D. Confections has grown from a home-crafted fudge-making operation into a commercial enterprise with corporate clients, online sales and other development plans in the works.
Portrayed in graphic detail in the film The Hurt Locker, Hale was a trained and experienced expert in destroying and disabling unexploded ordnance, IEDs and weapons of mass destruction. Hale’s unit, the 760th EOD, had completed 1,100 counter-IED missions and Hale estimates that he had personally disabled as many as 50 explosive devices during his last tour. On December 8, 2011, SSG Hale approached an IED he was working on robotically when, at 30 feet away, it detonated and sent shrapnel everywhere. Hale’s facial bones were broken, he had severe burns on his face and upper thighs, a cracked skull with leaking spinal fluid, a near-severed carotid artery and he had lost his eyesight.
Resilient and resolute, the recovering soldier began running. Hale says, “Before I’d run my first 5K I’d already signed up for four marathons in four months.” He was running and began white water kayaking, and climbing. On a trip to Colorado with a team that was training for Mount Kilimanjaro, Hale and the others climbed three 14,000-foot peaks in one day.
On his return to Santa Rosa Beach, his bomb blast injuries reared up making way for bacterial meningitis. Within inches of losing his life, Hale was completely deaf two weeks later. Recalling that time Hale says, “It is the loneliest feeling to be trapped in your body even with your loved ones all around you.”
Hale has regained some of his hearing with the help of Cochlear implants. Affectionately, he says about his girlfriend-turned-wife and business partner, “Thank God for her.” At that time, McKayla had devised a way to communicate with Aaron by inscribing every letter of every word in the palm of his hand. The dark and silent recovery road was made lighter when Hale distracted himself by baking.
Married in October 2017, the couple are expecting twins in May. Aaron also has an eight-year-old son from a previous marriage.
About E.O.D. Confections
In a tip of the hat to fellow E.O.D. technicians and their families, Aaron and McKayla Hale founded E.O.D. Confections in 2015 with a few handcrafted assorted fudge flavors from their Building Homes for Heroes-renovated kitchen. Today, the company sells fudge, chocolate confections, candied apples, pecan pie tarts chocolate and pecan caramel glazed popcorn, sea salt gophers, sea salt caramels, nuts and more. For more information, contact McKayla Hale at (303) 815-7243 or [email protected].
About Building Homes for Heroes
Building Homes for Heroes® is a national non-profit, non-partisan 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2006. Building Homes for Heroes® is strongly committed to rebuilding lives and supporting the brave men and women who were injured while serving the country during the time of the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan. The organization builds or modifies homes, and gifts them, mortgage-free, to veterans and their families. It’s our honor to support the men and women who have loyally and courageously served our country.
About The HUB
The HUB, located at 24 HUB Lane in Watersound Beach, Florida is where food is at the center of families, friends and festival. It’s the greatest backyard party of all time. With multiple eating establishments to choose from, there’s something to please everyone in your group.
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