I was having a beer with a friend last night, and we decided to go back in time, and talk about the old Army days. I couldn’t resist telling him a story about something that happened one day.
Paratroopers can’t count to 3
I was in the paratroops. I remember jump day like it was yesterday. I was a little nervous, but no more than everyone else in the outfit. Well, almost everyone else. There was one guy who made the rest of us seem like the calmest guys on the planet.
We were in line to jump, and I was second in line. The guy in front of me began to panic. He was hysterical. He told the officer in charge, “I CAN’T DO THIS, SIR. I CAN’T DO THIS. PLEASE DON’T MAKE ME DO THIS. I’M SCARED TO DEATH!” He didn’t just say this to the officer. He was screaming and in a state of panic.
The officer stopped for a moment, put his arm around the scared paratrooper, and calmly said to him, “Don’t worry, Son. I’m not going to let anything happen to you. I’ll get you through this. Now, just calm down, take a deep breath, and we’ll get through this together.” After about 5 minutes, the guy was calm.
The officer went on, “Now, just relax, and you’ll be OK. I’m going to count to 3. When I get to three, jump. Let me know when you’re ready.”
About 2 minutes later, the guy said, “I ready, Sir.” The officer stood behind him with his hand on the guy’s shoulder and said, “Good. Now I’ll get behind you, and count to 3. ONE . . TWOOOOOOOOOOO!”
On the count of two, the officer raised his leg, pushed the guy with his foot and literally kicked him out of the plane, and was laughing the whole time. Then, he looked at me, but he was not laughing. He said, “Are you ready to jump or not?” I looked at him and said, “Yes Sir! You don’t have to help me. I ready to do it.”