No Offseason For Broncos’ Garland
PUEBLO, Colo. — Beneath a postcard-worthy Colorado sky, with sun-splashed, snowcapped mountains framing the world around him, Denver Broncos guard Ben Garland is focused on his instructor for the day. Garland, in his usual spot in the front row, locks his gaze and wrings every proton of information out of every word about the current topic: static electricity.
Other NFL players spend their time off in far quieter settings — perhaps tweeting from some tropical paradise when they’re not working out. Not Garland, who has been trying to find a steady spot on the Broncos’ active roster since 2010, when he graduated from the Air Force Academy and was invited to the team’s training camp.
[+] EnlargeAP Photo/Kevin TerrellBen Garland, who switched from defensive tackle to the offensive line in 2013, suited up in eight games for the Broncos in 2014.
On this day, Garland, a captain in the 140th Public Affairs Wing of the Colorado Air National Guard, is near the southern edge of the Airburst Range, a vast expanse about 110 miles south of Denver. He is surrounded by “the EOD guys” — the 140th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Wing from Buckley Air Force Base in suburban Denver, where Garland is stationed. He already has put in a 5 a.m. football workout and now is in the capable hands of Master Sgt. Richard Gibbons.
Their mission for the day is dealing with booby traps, homemade bombs, unexploded ordnance and the other potential trouble the EOD wing can find “downrange,” its all-purpose word for the sharp end of the stick.
Gibbons has handled explosives, stared down bombs, clipped the wires, raced ticking clocks and disassembled taped bundles of harm — “the bang” as he calls it — for 13 years in the U.S. Air Force. His job has taken him to Iraq and Afghanistan, and he was awarded the Purple Heart after being wounded while serving in Afghanistan.
At the moment, Gibbons is teaching Garland about static electricity and why before picking up a blasting cap, a piece of C-4 or a demolition cord, you place your hand flat on the dirt beneath your feet. Not once, not sometimes, not whenever the mood strikes. Every. Single. Time. Not as if your life depends on it, but because your life depends on it.
“We make it [static electricity] in everything we do, and the best environment to create it is … – Click Here To Visit Article Source