11 March, 2008

Falling with Style

In recent travels through the blogosphere, I stumbled across a great story by a chaplain who used to be an infantryman. If I recall correctly, this is the same chaplain who wrote so vividly and movingly about being at the hospital in the aftermath of the 2004 bombing of the D-FAC in Mosul. [Warning! Nobody gets seriously hurt in this more-recent post from 2006, but there are pictures of the author's bloodied head. ]
Everything mentioned above went as it should, right up to the point where I steer toward a nice soft landing spot. The wind had other ideas. The location of our jump today was a small “mom and pop” airport in rural Georgia. The runway is surrounded by nice soft, just-harvested peanut fields and we all wanted to land in that soft dirt. And we all did. Except me! The universe conspired to move me to the place where I would be most likely to get hurt. So as I descended and attempted to hit the dirt, I simply drifted toward the concrete landing strip and kept saying to myself, “This is gonna hurt!”

Read it all for the punch line at the end, though if you've known a lot of soldiers, you probably already know what it is...