A little background first. My hubby jumps out of perfectly good airplanes and helicoptors for the Army. As I have mentioned before he is currently training to compete in this crazy competition. I have never given him jumping a second thought. I have watched him jump once and it was hella cool to me.
Yesterday all the guys who are training for the competition had to jump b/c they had to have a jump within 60 days of the competition. Sweet, I thought, I get to watch him jump again. Well we got there at 0715 and the ceilings were too low for the birds (that’s Army slang for helicoptors) to fly in from the neighboring town. So we wait, for 4 freaking hours. Finally the birds get there, the guys load up and they get ready to jump. In that 4 hours the ceiling improved but the winds worsened. The guys didn’t seem THAT worried so none of us family members/spectators were too worried. The first group of 3 guys jumped. One of them, my friend Amy’s husband ended up in the trees. Don’t worry folks, he was fine and dandy. My hubby was jumping in the next group of 3 guys and he let me know that he’d be the 2nd one out. Cool, I knew which GI Joe is mine. What happened next was not what I was prepared to see.
My hubby jumped, his chute opened (whew) and then the wind took over. Amy and joked that he was going to land on the pavillion roof (where we were standing) just like he said he would. Then he blew past the pavillion. Me-ok, he’s going to land in the grass behind the bleachers. The jumpmaster started yelling directions, the medic turned around to look at P. *loud static, boom sound* More yelling-Don’t touch your shit, don’t touch it. By then I was hurriedly walking up to where he landed. Shit, his parachute is in the live power lines. Another zappy sound. My husband, motionless on the ground. The wind then blew the chute off the wires. More yelling-release, release!!! My hubby getting up and walking. People crowded around him to make sure he’s ok. He says he’s fine and gives me a huge hug and a kiss. He was shaking. He said all that he could think about when he thought that he was going to fry was that he had not kissed me before getting on the bird. Everyone shaken up, telling us we are fucking lucky. No one understands why he isn’t fried.
One of the spectators got a video of the whole thing but I havent’ seen it yet. Another friend, Bunny and her hubby got pictures of it-I seriously can’t wait to see those. Apparently the first chute to power line connection caused a flame and it also caused the lights to dim. I didn’t see the flame b/c I was walking and it was out of my line of sight. Amy told me that she almost fainted when she saw it.
I was amazingly calm right after it happened. It happened so quickly that I don’t think my brain had time to register everything. The group of soldiers and their families had a crawfish boil later in the afternoon and that incident was the hot topic of conversation. It all started to register; I drank an entire bottle of wine when we got home-I’d had a 12 pack at the crawfish boil. P had nightmares all last night and hardly slept. I almost broke down crying while putting on makeup this morning. I don’t want to let him out of my sight. I can’t tell him “i love you” enough.
P’s 1st SGT said to me “I bet you won’t be coming to many more jumps.” Quite the opposite, I will come to every jump that I am allowed to see. If he is going to die on a training jump I want to be there rather than have some random soldiers come to my door. I want to know that I spent every possible second with him. I want his last thought to be the kiss that I gave him before he got on the bird.