After serving 14 years in both the Navy as a Chef to the Commander of the US 6th Fleet and then transitioning to become a team leader in one of the Army’s most dangerous jobs, Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD), Army Staff Sergeant Aaron Hale was blinded by an IED. His life changed forever on the day he returned to duty after a furlough to visit his family in the States for Thanksgiving.
On the caravan back to home base, an IED was spotted. Aaron sent out a robot to diffuse it, then went to collect evidence not knowing there was a secondary IED. When he woke up from the initial shock, he thought his helmet was covering his eyes and reached to move it. It wasn’t there and he knew immediately the seriousness of his injuries.
Medics worked on Aaron and called in for a helicopter. Within 48 hours Aaron was at Walter Reed Medical Center. At first, like anyone, Aaron was angry. However, hearing the voices of his brothers-in-arms in that hospital ward made him realize he was lucky to have just lost his sight and didn’t want to let his brother’s down. At that point, Aaron decided if he had to be blind, he was going to be the best
damn blind guy he could. He, with the help of technology, googled “blind man climbs mountain”, “blind man white water rafts”, and reached out to these guys to find out about their adventures. And he did it! Not letting his injuries hold him back, Aaron became an EOD instructor,
motivational speaker, mountain climber, white water kayaker, and ultra marathon runner.
Four years later, tragedy struck again when Aaron contracted bacterial meningitis which robbed him of his hearing, leaving him not just 100% blind, but completely deaf as well. Again, Aaron picked himself up, dusted off, and continued to chase the best of what life has to offer. Today, he’s thriving and sharing his story of resilience.
Through everything, Aaron has never lost his sense of humor. In the Army he was in Explosive Ordinance Disposal so he named his chocolate company E.O.D. - Extra Ordinary Delights. The online store offers Aaron’s signature fudge flavors, Sea Salt Caramels, the Ultimate Colossal Apple (regular or Valentine) and many more sweet, delectable and luxurious confections.
Visit www.eodfudge.com now to check out the products available. The site also offers “Challenge Accepted” t-shirts, E.O.D. Apparel, and Aaron’s favorite, the E.O.D. Kitchen Combat Apron.
Aaron is married to McKayla Hale, a local Realtor who specializes in Destin, 30A and areas in and around the Emerald Coast. Together, they have three sons - Cameron and twins, Owen and Wyatt. He handles it all like a champ.
He’s helping to motivate people wherever he tells his story of tragedy to triumph. Aaron says, “I’m proud of my service to my country and know it’s part of the reason I am the man I am today. I share my tools of perseverance, mind over matter, grit and determination to motivate and inspire people!”
Aaron is a keynote motivational speaker at conventions, galas, fundraisers and more. From the Folds of Honor Gala to the Historic Gulf Cemetery on Veterans Day, to Fox Business, NBC Nightly News and an appearance on Rachel Ray, you just can’t keep Aaron down. He is always working towards goals and reaching them…then setting
more goals. Very motivational and inspiring.
Many would ask how – Aaron finds the solution and moves directly to it.
If you haven’t had the chance to order his luscious fudge and confections, now is the time to impress your Valentine with the best tasting treats!
I share my tools of perseverance, mind over matter, grit and determination to motivate and inspire people!