Bomb squad organizes beeping Easter egg hunt for blind children

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The bomb squad is trained to work in stressful, dangerous situations. However, dozens of local explosives specialists are using their training this month to help children in the community.

Local members of the Air Force, the Army and the Albuquerque Police Department’s bomb squads are using their knowledge of electronics to put on a beeping Easter egg hunt for children who are blind or visually impaired.

Families are invited to attend the event on Saturday, April 15 at USS Bullhead Memorial Park from 10 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.

About 25 people gathered at the Kirtland Air Force Base on Friday to build circuits, allowing each egg to make a beeping noise so that children can find them by following the sound.

“We tried to build an assembly line, and it’s going pretty well,” said Air Force Tech Sgt. John Johnson. “We’re building some pretty in-depth circuits.”

He said he was inspired to organize the effort after learning about a bomb squad hosting a similar event in South Carolina.

“I was wondering if our community had a need for that,” Johnson said.

After hearing a lot of positive feedback and excitement over the idea for the Easter egg hunt, he got a team together to make it happen.

It’s all for kids like 9-year-old Faith Switzer.

“I think it’s important that blind people get an opportunity to do the same thing that sighted people do,” Faith said.

Her family has made sure she has gotten that opportunity whenever possible. Faith has tried everything from bowling to rock climbing and even zip-lining.

“I was trying to do hockey once, but I fell over,” Faith said as she laughed. “I got right back up, and I actually shot the hockey thing into the hole.”

Adam Buckner plans to go to the Easter egg hunt with his son, Tyler, who will turn 5 years old next month.

Tyler has Cri du chat syndrome, a rare genetic disorder.

His father said he is vision is impaired, and doctors originally said that Tyler would never walk or talk.

“Now, he’s taken 25 steps on his own,” Buckner said. “He has about 30 words, and one of his favorites is, ‘Batman,’ and, ‘Spiderman.’ So, I can’t complain.”

He’s grateful that the community’s thinking about kids with special needs.

“We need more of it. You know, these kids just want to be normal and…” Buckner said, pausing as he began to tear up. “It’s just really sweet.”

Organizers said they’re planning for about 200 people to enjoy the festivities, and they hope the egg hunt will become an annual event.

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