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No Fear: Blood on the Risers

Joined: 3/21/2013
Posts: 1
It was a cool August morning in Georgia. The sun wasn't even up yet. I was currently attending Airborne School at Ft. Benning as part of my army training. It was the first day of jump week. I felt no emotion. My class was filled mostly with cadets but there were a few other soldiers from military bases around the world. We made our way to the rock pit to begin our parachute landing falls. It was a necessary nuisance to induce muscle memory. "Check canopy and gain canopy control.." the cadre yelled over the mega phone.

A few hours later I was strapped up in my harness, sitting on a bench trying to sneak in as much shuteye as I could. "We have somewhat of a tradition here," someone said over the intercom. "We like to play a short film and then a song, so here it is." The video popped up on the televisions hanging overhead. It was a old shool motivational video showing previous soldiers being trained at the school. The film ended and the song began to play. "He was just a rookie trooper and he surely shook with fright," it was Blood on the Risers. I had heard the song before I began to sing along with everyone else. They played the song multiple times as the time passed and groups began heading out to board the C-130. Finally it was my turn to board.

I followed the line outside and made my way around the back of the plane. The blast from the engines was hot and full of jet fuel flavor. We packed onto the foldout benches. The back of the plane closed up and we were moving. I started feeling a little uneasy. Once we got in the air I tried to get some sleep again. Someone bumped into me. Everyone stood up and began doing their checks. We began shuffling forward. It hit me. I was scared. "He ain't gonna jump no more!" the song was replaying in my head. I had to jump. If I didn't I could be kicked out of the school or even court martialled. I didn't sign up just to quit. I had to trust my equipment and put my life in the hands of fate. It was my turn. I made eye contact as the jump master took my strap and i turned to face the sky. I jumped.

The wind took me instantly. I saw the plane and then it was gone and then there was just the sky. How long had I been falling? I forgot to count! Snap! I felt the risers whip against my cheek and a hard yank on my shoulders. Good, the chute had opened. I started whooping. It was a rush. Only four more jumps to go. Looking back on it now, that first jump was a blast, but it quickly began to feel natural and more like another form of transportation.
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Comment by maurabeaver

Joined: 5/15/2013
Posts: 59
Congratulations! You’ve been selected the On My Own life stages winner for the March writing contest: "No Fear".

Don’t forget to share your story and show your accomplishment on your Facebook, Twitter, and other social media!

Thanks for submitting and we look forward to your future submissions.
Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 4:00:12 PM
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