While staying for a few days with my best friend and her husband, I was lucky enough to be able to visit Fort Bragg, an army base near Fayetteville, North Carolina. The base has been home to Army Airborne Divisions, one of the most well-known being the 82nd Airborne. There is a jump scheduled for the day of my visit and I am allowed to go watch. It’s a really warm day and the sun blazes down on the sandy, scrub brush fields below. There isn’t even a hint of a breeze. A plane flies over head and 10 men jump silently from the back of the plane and float softly down to Earth.
I’m told that each drop contains 10 soldiers and more than one plane flies troops out to the drop zone. So over the course of several hours, dozens of guys get a jump in today.
As each soldier touches down, he or she gathers up their chute to stuff into a carrying bag and then hauls the gear and themselves from wherever they landed on the field to a station on the edge of the field where he or she empties out the chute and hangs it to “clean” it from dust, etc. and then neatly repack it for another day.
From the time they jump til a soldier is repacked is less than 20 minutes from what I can see today. They make it look so easy. I have some serious respect for someone making a skill look easy. It usually means they have practiced it to perfection and are very good at what they do. I’ve always said that is something I would have no interest in doing…but never say never. What an incredible day.
It’s raining men…Hallelujah!