While visiting the fam in Savannah, Dad had set up a zip line between two large trees. Watching 60 lbs. of BoyChild come hurtling at me – the sole obstacle preventing him from smashing into an oak, I was reminded of my Army Brat days.
Every so often the Army would put together something fun for the kids. It could have been funner (don't judge me) if they'd let us try out a grenade launcher, but you take what you can get. I can still remember the different battalions dressed as Roman soldiers racing homemade chariots.
There were helicopters to sit in, tanks to fight over, and because it was the 509th Airborne - there was “parachuting” from a jump tower, the precursor to bungee jumping.
All of us scrawny kids would wait impatiently for a chance to be suited up in a REAL parachute harness, clipped to a line and jump. They had a few mattresses thrown around at the bottom (that you may or may not have landed on) and an efficient soldier whose sole duty was to get you out of the harness quickly and suit the next kid up.
It was a time-consuming process. 70 lb. kid gets outfitted with 30 lb. harness and then has to truck almost half his body-weight up 5 flights of stairs to the top of the tower.
At this point there was no chickening-out of the parachute jump. With a line of antsy kids and soldiers who picked the short straw to be working this station, I’m just saying that I saw more than one kid get pushed in the back of the knees and go screaming down the line.
Hey! Look at my cool tube socks! And why was the sky so pink in the late '70s?
-----------------------------------------------The 509th could take out Humor-Blogs any day of the week.