Friday, May 20, 2005

In the Sandbox...

Airborne Boys...

"Who remembers their "cherry blast"?
Mine is as fresh in my mind as if it were yesterday. There are shithouse lawyers all over Bragg that will tell you: your first jump in Division has to be "daylight-hollywood" if you believe this, show me the reg.
I know otherwise, you see my cherry blast was a BDE mass-tac, night, with full combat load on Rhine Luzon DZ. The Platoon Sergeant told me I would have a jump-buddy to make sure I was OK and to ensure I stayed with this guy through out the night. the SPC who was my jump buddy said, "C'mon cherry", and took me to go rig our rucks. As I was rigging my ruck he said, "Your'e gonna friggin burn in tonight because your a sorry piece of shit". The hazing didn't begin until after my "cherry blast" but I was still getting pissed. Manifest came and went. When I got to green ramp, I saw an endless stream of camouflaged bodies and C-141's to put them in. I was awe-struck. Everything was different than what we learned at jumpschool. It seemed like chaos. Pre-jump was hurried and kind of like checking a block. The JM team from my bird singled out the cherries by making us move to the front of the mock door during exit rehearsal. We also all had red tape on our helmets too. We were told to buddy rig and no one wanted to help me, so I rigged myself. when I got JMPI'ed The inspector made fun of me because I f*cked it up.
The next fiasco was loading the birds. 120 of us crammed into the 141. Rucks weighing anywhere from 35-90 pounds. the d!ck sitting across from me on inboard had radio in his ruck which once laid upon my ruck, made my legs feel like shit. Later we took off everyone around me was falling asleep. I was too nervous, this wasn't right, it was nothing like the jumps at Fort Benning.
**20 MINUTES!**
Nobody moved everyone went back to sleep..
**10 MINUTES!**
Everyone awoke and put their helmets on...
**GET READY!**
**OUTBOARD PERSONNEL, STAND UP!**
**INBOARD PERSONNEL, STAND UP!**
The safeties were running around screaming, "Get those f*cking seats up!" People were kicking them and everything it was total chaos in the plane...
**HOOK UP!**
I was still trying to get those damn seats up...
**CHECK EQUIPMENT!**
**SOUND OFF FOR EQUIPMENT CHECK!**

I was just getting my static line unhooked from the top carrying handle of my reserve when I heard the wave of "Okays" coming my way. I got smacked on the ass and heard the guy behind me say "OK", still not ready, I smacked the guy in front of me and said "OK".

The Doors were open and and the rush of air coming in drowned out alot of the chaos. the jumpmasters were doing their door checks.
**One minute!**
I was still trying to hook up. The seats werent all up and people were yanking on the anchorline cable making it damn near impossible to get hooked up.
**30 second hand signal...
Finally I was hooked up. No time to think just mad and nervous at the same time.
**Greenlight GO!**
People were running on the seats then jumping off-- it was nuts.
I got to the door and was gone...

Once I got a canopy the fear diminished and I felt okay. as I looked around there were jumpers everywhere(I later found out this jump was 18 C-141's and 5 C-130's filled-that's a bit).
As I got lower, I dropped my ruck and prepared to land. this can be rough(I heard rumors about how this DZ was littered with hazzards and debris)
I landed, No PLF, I don't know what you would call it, sort of a sideways summersault.

I laid there, popped a riser, wiggled my fingers and toe and confirmed I was OK. Got my weapon up and took a piss. I was OK."

~Author Unknown (source)

...damn, Airborne women...
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