A paratrooper recalls his final jump — and his walk off the drop zone

  • by:
  • Source: Army Times
  • 07/09/2024
The C-130 bounced like a rollercoaster at a cheap traveling circus. I sat on the cargo netting bench seats surrounded by first-time jumpers and pretended to sleep.

All I could think about—other than that one of these bastards was going to get me killed—was how the fuck I got here.

I’d deployed to Iraq, and I was scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan in a few months. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that this was the day something was going to go terribly wrong.

About a month before, in September 2011, a large group of Canadians arrived at Fort Liberty in North Carolina for a joint training exercise. They brought a ton of parachutes with them so that when we performed large-scale operations together, we could jump using their equipment and methods. We’d earn their jump wings as a foreign award.
airborne ranger by is licensed under flickr mashleymorgan

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