Blind and nearly deaf veteran surmounts life's tragedies to create a new business

Odette Odendaal
Nov 24, 2018
01:35 A.M.
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A man that used to defuse bombs now blow your taste buds away with the most delicious fudge.


The confectionery business, EOD (in this case standing for Extra Ordinary Delight) started off the same way many good things do, one thing that led to another.


And the man behind the creation of these delicious treats is Staff Sgt. Aaron Hale, who served in the U.S. Army for 14 years before the abrupt turnaround of career.

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He got gifted a custom house from ‘Building Homes for Heroes,’ and it is in the kitchen of that house where it all began. Aaron wanted to make the perfect Thanksgiving meal for his family, and in his quest to create the best dishes he started early and said:

“I started making desserts, days, weeks in advance. So much so that my wife McKayla had to start sneaking out the front door.”


 Jokingly Aaron adds:

“And I say sneaking as if you have to be stealthy with a deaf-blind guy.”

At the time Aaron was totally deaf and blind, the reason for that had everything to do with the other EOD, the Explosive Ordnance Disposal team. They defuse and neutralize bombs.

During his last tour of many in Afghanistan in 2011 and improvised explosive device blew up in his face. It left him with severely injured eardrums and blind. 


His situation worsened when a bad case of bacterial meningitis left him completely deaf. Later on, he received cochlear implants which took time heal and start functioning correctly until he could begin relearning how to hear and added:

“It was six months of complete silence, complete darkness as I would receive surgery and implants in both my ears.”


With family, friends, and neighbors receiving the excess food they started coming back asking for more, and whether they can order and buy some.

The retired Army staff sergeant said:

“Before we knew it, we were cooking 14-hour days out of our home kitchen, and we knew we had to expand.”


Aaron started baking more than what the family kitchen was capable of delivering. The couple then secured a commercial kitchen to accommodate corporate clients like Boeing and the Royal Bank of Canada. 

From being the leader of a bomb-defusing squad to dealing with severe injuries to building a successful confectionary business and a happy sweet filled life.

Another veteran decided to raise awareness for cancer and veterans alike when he rappelled down a skyscraper in aid of cancer. Richard Keller, the 90-year-old World War II veteran went down the side of the 38 stories Hyatt Regency building in Denver, Colorado over the weekend.


A crowd of around 160 spectators cheering him on and proceeds went towards the Cancer League of Colorda since his battle with cancer; It's a cause close to his heart.


Just a few days ago, it got reported that the oldest survivor of the Pearl Harbor attack in 1941, passed away on Wednesday, November 21. He was 106 years old.

Fit enough to have traveled his met with the President of the United States in May but recently lost the battle with pneumonia and passed in his sleep.


Ray Chavez was 27 years old when he served on the minesweeper USS Condor, upon the time of the attacks on Pearl Harbour. After the White House received the news they said in a statement:

"We were honored to host him at the White House earlier this year. Thank you for your service to our great nation, Ray!"

A memorial wreath-laying ceremony in honor of Ray Chavez will be held at the next Pearl Harbor anniversary memorial on December 7 in Hawaii.