Cargo Drop's Story

 
Mr. Pace!

 

I ain't figured out why you go by the handle of Cargo Drop, but if I have to jump these day's I would need a G-11 or something cause I am not a heavy drop.

Antonelli

  Yo, "Aunty Nellie,"

  A few months ago, a friend of mine from college days emailed me the same question. This is what I wrote back to him. (He was a Leg Civilian, so you guys can take some of this with a grain or two of salt. But, it IS true…"Give Or Take A Lie Or Two!"

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Wellll, that's a longish and sorta funny, kinda embarrassing story.

Once upon a time, I was a Green Beret-wearing Sneaky Pete [{shhhhhh! Don't tell anyone!!} with a weight problem].

I have an UNBELIEVABLY HYPER-EFFICIENT GUT! (I had a Basal Metabolism Rate (BMR) run on myself just before getting out. MAINTAINENCE LEVEL diet for me was approximately 720 calories A DAY!!!! At 721, I start GAINING weight!)

YOU CAN'T BELIEVE HOW LITTLE 720 CALORIES IS!

Annyhooo, "The Old Man" would periodically sight down my profile, mutter darkly about "FAT" Green Beanies, and send me out into "THE FIELD!" for a month or two of falling up and down mountains, sinking outta sight in swamps, or swimming through what seemed to be every shark inna damned WORLD!

I was trained as an A-Team Medic (cross-trained in weapons and demolitions), assigned to the Smoke Bomb Hill Dispensary. So, I was sent out to provide "Medical Coverage" for Special Warfare School students in field training exercises. These typically lasted about 40 days. An A-Team Medic's TO&E combat issue (the load I had to carry) totaled about 1,998.98765 pounds. Since I had to "go where they went and do what they did," I would come back as a true-green, "Lean, Mean, Killing Machine!"….Or, about 15-25 pounds lighter!

 

One bitterly cold winter night, the team I was to jump in with and I were waiting to load up on an old "Gooney Bird" for the flight into the N.C. mountains (Uwharrie National Forest) for a field training exercise to cap off their training.

Now, you must realize that the harness on a T-10 military parachute will very nicely accommodate a man 6 feet, 8 inches tall (or King Kong's Baby Brother, whichever). I was 5'11".

I COULDN'T MAKE THE HARNESS CLOSE!

The snaps could NOT meet at the release plate on my chest!!!!! I had two guys pulling down on the shoulder straps and two more pulling up on the leg straps and

THE DAMNED STRAPS WOULD NOT MEET UP!!!!!!

FINALLY, the Ossifer-in-charge of the group, cursing at the top of his lungs, had to CANCEL THE FLIGHT!!!

He was NOT a "Happy Camper!"

As we were all standing around, contemplating "the immortality of the crab," he fixed me with his beady little eyes and ordered me to move over into the light spilling from a nearby hanger door.

He "STUDIED" me for a moment or two -- reached out and unzipped my field jacket, and stood there and watched the candy bars, crackers, and other assorted TONS of "Poagie Bait" and paperback books come literally RAINING down onto the ground around me.

We will pause for a moment of silent reflection on what happened to the VERY miserable Green Beanie for the next 40 days -- AND nights!

Believe it or not, you really CAN go for 40 days with no more than TWO HOURS of sleep at a time!

Needless to say, my previous nick-name ("THE KID" -- I was 19, the average age in Special Forces at that time was about 36) was "_IMMEDIATELY_" changed!

I was dubbed "CARGO DROP!" (A cargo drop is anything so damned BIG it has to have MORE THAN ONE PARACHUTE!!!! TANKS come to mind!)

Radio procedure (in our company, at that time) was that when you finished a coded radio transmission, (asking for resupply or whatever) you signed off with an authenticated signature consisting of three five-character code groups: i.e.,

 

CARGO DROPS ENDS! = CARGO DROP SENDS!

 

AS PAUL HARVEY WOULD SAY, "AND *NOW* YOU KNOW -- THE *REST* OF THE STORY!!!!"

 

 

DE OPRESSO LIBER

 

CARGO DROP SENDS!