Life Detonated: The True Story of a Widow and a Hijacker by Kathleen Murray Moran is the perfect blend of memoir and thriller. It is an unexpected story that takes surprising twists. And while not technically a book about Huntsville, Redstone Arsenal played a significant role in the book's launch. Brian Murray, a member of the New York City Bomb Squad, killed in the line of duty trained here in Huntsville at the Hazardous Device School on Redstone Arsenal. When the director of the school, John Stewart, found out that Kathleen was coming to Huntsville, he directed his staff to "roll out the red carpet." Kathleen was given a tour of the HDS facilities and invited to speak to instructors and students. She also spent time at the Bomb Squad memorial a beautiful tribute to those who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
After hearing about her visit to HDS, the folks at The National Center for Explosive Training and Research (NCETR) reached out to Kathleen and invited her to come and speak to their instructors and classes. She toured the NCETR facilities and even detonated a few charges.
The men and women who work for and train at HDS and NCETR do more than most of us will ever know to keep America safe. These folks head into harm's way when others are running away. They are incredibly smart, amazingly well-trained, kind, and quite funny. They are a family and treated Kathleen like one of their own, recognizing both she and Brian as heroes. After losing Brian, Kathleen founded Survivors of the Shield and an organization that supports line of duty families. She and members of SOS were instrumental in securing rights for line of duty widows and their children.
Kathleen's book reminded us how many work without ever receiving recognition. Doing dangerous jobs that keep the rest of us safe. Many of those people are working at Redstone Arsenal. You will never know who they are, but we are so grateful for their service.