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Old 06-17-2018, 06:30 AM View Post #1 (Link) The day I turned chicken
hmemcpy (Offline)
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Join Date: May 2018
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Sitting Indian style, enjoying the view while climbing to 3000 feet. I was in one of the two Huey's circling the drop zone. The helicopter crew chief finished his business with the pilots, turning his attention to us. Talking over the noise, using hand gestures, he went over the jump commands, and what the plan was. Having heard this many times, we acknowledged him with nods. Focusing on me, the crew chief’s eyes got big.

“You’re jumping a chicken?”

A chicken’s head was jerking back and forth through the hole I cut in the chute recovery bag, I had rigged to my chest.

My platoon was chosen to spend three or four days in the woods, and be trained by special forces. Survival, demolition, and urban assaults were on the syllabus. This jump was part of that.

Raising my voice, pointing to the chicken, “Survival meal, I have to keep it alive.”

The crew chief giving my rigging a full look now. His voice sped up a little.

“You don’t have a reserve chute!” He said. “Got permission to jump without it. The reserve could kill it.” I said, or, something close to that. I don’t recall his response.

My jump went off without a hitch. The guy in the other chopper jumping a chicken, used a reserve, his parachute landing fall killed his chicken. I carried that excited bird two or three clicks back to the training area. By this time it had become our mascot.

That night six or eight of us were sitting around a fire, passing a jar of moonshine. I brought up the idea of pardoning the chicken, simply just letting it go. In the end, the jar, and the job won.

The next morning we learned how to use C-4 to fall trees. Turns out, when using C-4 to fall different size trees. How much you use, and where you place it, matters.

In the afternoon, we broke off in small groups to practice what we learned. My group was four guys, ages between 18 and about 22. We left the training area with our field pants stuffed with C-4, blasting caps, and one of us had brought the joints.

We started by falling trees like they taught us, making math symbols, and such. Next, we attacked a stream with quarter pound chunks, making sure it was dead. After that, we walked further into the woods, and came upon an out of place, foot diameter or so, walnut tree.

Probably high, We came up with the idea of using the remainder of the C-4 on this tree. We tied somewhere between four or five times the required amount to it. After the C-4 and fuse were placed, we stood back a little, and looked at what we had made. We all agreed, this was going to be good.

Finding a spot we figured was a good distance, Bean went back and pulled the fuse, returning to our spot. It was then, like a switch getting flicked, fears and doubts raced into my head. Without the other three having a clue.

We are too close...
That’s too much C-4...
The concussion is going to hammer us...

I could see the C-4, but couldn’t make out the fuse. I thought about jumping up without saying a word, and running the opposite direction. I thought about running towards It, and yanking the blasting cap. I desperately wished I could see that fuse.

Crouched, I was looking right at it when it detonated. The blast was deafening, jarring, and angry. Absolutely disappearing four foot of that tree. We weren’t injured, but none of us could hear. Fingers in ears, trying to clear the ringing, we missed the noise descending in the trees above us. I’m sure we were all wondering the same thing, would we ever hear again. And then It happened, it started to rain walnuts.

The night before, one of the guys deliberating the fate of the mascot, threw a box of M16 blanks into the fire. I thought the blanks, and the chicken thing, were a bad omen.

The conundrum of whether a tree falling in the forest, makes a sound or not, has been solved
						Last edited by hmemcpy; 06-17-2018 at 06:33 AM.
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Old 07-15-2018, 07:03 AM View Post #2 (Link)
MiriamD (Offline)
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Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 16
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Just love all the articles on website. It was so nice to while reading. And I wanted to say thank you for being there and for guiding us. Today just because if you I have gathered a lot of self-confidence and spirits and working great in my work.
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