C Co., 1st 75th, 80-81. RS 5-81
I earned my Black Beret!!!!
All days are good. Some are better than others though....
If you're going through hell, keep going. - Winston Churchill
I found another trooper I went to jump school with a couple of weeks ago. I tried to get him to come on this site but I guess he didn't want to. He was in the same platoon and either was right next to me in formation or the sixth man from me. I was 460.
We didn't know each other because unlike Benning we went from our units to jump school.
He was in the 506th. He did relate to me this story while we were in jump school. This is typical of what they did to us.
His words,speaking of Sgt Harjo. I believe he was a Native American ."I remember him because after the tower jump he asked me What does it take to make a Partrooper? I said guts, before I finished saying it he had his right fist in my gut! I could not breath, and he told me your'e not going to make it boy, the correct answer is mental alertness and you are not alert! thats when I said to myself yes I am, and i'll make it just to show you!!
And so it was.
"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things; the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing is worth a war, is worse. A man who has nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety is a miserable creature who has no chance at being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."- John Stuart Mill
Referring to the OPs post #1. I have told several people over the years that Westmorland pined my blood wings on me, only to get that look they give before they look away and roll their eyes. My brother just flat out called me a liar. I think Westmorland made a policy of jumping the last jump with every JS class.
If you did not have family there to pin your wings, he did it personally for every trooper who made it through his jump school.
I went through Dec 73. I think that was the first class with females, 2 if I remember right. I do remember they mostly did PT off to themselves with their own BH. That was a long time ago. Just out of BCT from Ft. Knox, guess I was still kinda intimidated by all the newness of the whole thing. I was a 1st week recycle cause I messed up my ankle the first day. What a way to start. To this day, I can barely remember the barracks; I do remember they weren't the best though. It was a pretty mild winter so got over there. I do remember the 2nd weekend I went downtown Columbus and got a motel room just to get away from all the bs and hey you details. Second week was the SLT(I think) and the 250ft tower. Can't even remember what week we did the 34 foot tower, 2nd I guess. I think the 250ft tower was more intimidating than anything else; afraid I was going to get blown into it, get hung up, chute would tear loose and I would just fall the rest of the way. Funny how little things like that you remember when you think back. First jump was like scared shitless and Holy Crap this is great all at the same time. Jump week I only remember just praying for 5 walk away landings. Anyhow, made it through all that, got to Ft. Campbell on Jan 4, '74. Didn't even get to make my cherry jump. It was cancelled due to weather and then they took us off status. But I did learn to rappel from a chopper, climb that frigging cargo net and other weird crap.
Amateur Woodworker Extraordinaire
“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who comes
near that precious jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright
force. When you give up that force, you are ruined.”― Patrick Henry
Movie shown on TV. Normally Lights Out was at 2300 Sharp. We had to be in our beds and the TV off well before then. But such was the nature of the movie they let us stay watching the movie until it was over. After I was released I had a little bottle of penicillin tablets that I took with me for about a week or so. If things got a bit boring I could always keep looking at my watch, counting down the time until I got to take the next pill. That excuse help at least once.
Just before I went to Benning I had then who was a real slacker. Today he'd be perfectly defined as the lower quarter of the 99%. He often did not get out of bed when it was time to get up. One time I warned him the next time I had to wake him up I was going to put smelling salts under his nose. A visit to the Medics procured me the appropriate item. The next morning he was still in bed while his roommates were getting ready for the next glorious Day in Texas . Can't say I didn't warn him as I crushed the salts.
He quickly went from E-3 to E-2 to E-1 in short order. His hijinks eventually got him overnighted to the Stockade. The problem there was come the morning he would come back to us. Thanks to yet another re-organization there was no transportation for me to take him there and back. I don't recall how we ended up solving his problem. I do know he was being set up for Chapter 13 Separation from the Army when I left for Benning.
And would't you know it: In Tower Week there was a SSGT Black Hat with Private Slackers exact last name. I don't recall his name, which is both a blessing and a shame. When he called cadence for a run he almost sang it in a nearly non-military style. After I got my wings I finally got some spare time to ask him if he and Pvt Slacker might be related. He took a quick break and answered in the Negative.
I went through early 1972 and the only memories I can recall is that I was tired all the time and that C-119 scared the holy shit out of me. Oh yea the chow was good.
B Co 1/509th ABCT 1973-1976
Reading over this thread brings back some memories. Had forgotten about the white helmets - great stuff!
Anyone remember the "Turtle-Bumps" (there's a less polite name for that, too) the Blackhats used to do when a guy REALLY screwed up?
Someone talked about bad memories. Jump School was a bear, to be sure, but like my basic, some of the toughest crap are also my best memories and the stuff I laugh most about when thinking of it.
"I'm the right-wing 'extremist' your mother warned you about..."
I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend unto the death your right to say it! - Voltaire
"I think we won..."
People Sleep Peacefully in Their Beds at Night Only Because Rough Men Stand Ready to Do Violence on Their Behalf- George Orwell
Already posted a story on Page 1 of this thread, but I just remembered a painful experience that was caused by my not listening to everything I was told. We were on the Swing Landing Trainer. We were told, as a group, that we were to take a half hitch hold on a hanging static line, and then clear the platform when told. Came my turn, I had quickly forgotten about the half hitch and was concentrating on leaving the platform when I got the word. The word came and off I went, landing almost flat on my back, after being dropped by the black hat for not taking the half hitch. Didn't really hurt anything but my pride,but damn, it was painful to go splat!
Proud to be a Vietnam Veteran.