Happy National Airborne Day!! Yea, I know, so many ‘national’ sorts of days, right?? Well, if you noticed on my bio, I am a soldiers wife and my hubby is airborne. He is a small part of a huge legacy of paratroopers that willingly fling themselves out of planes into any situation they are told to jump into. For that, they do deserve at least a blog posting right?? There is a fabulous Airborne Museum in Fayettville, NC. Please check it out if you ever get the chance!!!
The history of Airborne forces began after World War I, when Brigadier General William Mitchell first conceived the idea of parachuting troops into combat. Eventually, under the leadership of Major William Lee at Fort Benning, Georgia, members of the Parachute Test Platoon pioneered methods of combat jumping in 1940. In November 1942, members of the 2nd Battalion, 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment, conducted America’s first combat jump, leaping from a C-47 aircraft behind enemy lines in North Africa. This strategy revolutionized combat and established Airborne forces as a key component of our military.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim August 16, 2002, as National Airborne Day. As we commemorate the first official Army parachute jump on August 16, 1940, I encourage all Americans to join me in honoring the thousands of soldiers, past and present, who have served in an Airborne capacity. I call upon all citizens to observe this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities
I never got to see hubby’s first jump after airborne school. We weren’t married yet. He was a part of 2nd Ranger Bat. He had the misfortune one time of meeting the business end of his rifle strapped to his body… it knocked him clean out!!! Recently at Fort Bragg, a chute neglected to open and a soldier plummeted to the ground and died. So it’s not all fun and glory… it’s risky.
This was my favorite jump experience. The ‘toys for tots’ program hosts a jump at Bragg. The soldier gets to jump if they bring in a wrapped gift for the program. This is the first jump we as a family got to come see. It was precious and special. My kids happily attended several other jumps watching daddy drop!!!