Mark I. Kirkmeyer

GATON DROP-ZONE

Red Glow
Sixty-four Paratroops
Rucksack On Groin
Sleep Relieves Pain

“Six Minutes”
Sounds Loud and Clear
Warning Repeats
Paratroops Rock

“Three Minutes”
Unbuckle Belts
Ready to Get Up
Squirm in the Seat

“Inboard Personnel Stand-up”
A Buddy Task
Hundred Pound Ruck
Makes the Job Suck

“Outboard Personnel Stand-up”
No Room in the Aircraft
Everything is Choreographed
Seats Are lifted

“Hook Up”
Static Line Hooks
Attach to the Cables
Safety Wire Inserted

“Check Static Line”
Fingers Run Down the Line
To the Shoulder
Then Check the Buddy’s

Trusting Your Buddy
Is Essential In Combat
And On A Jump
For All Soldiers

“Check Equipment”
Straps Between the Legs
Checked
Weapons and Rucks Not

“Sound Off For Equipment Check”
“Okay” Starts at the Cockpit
Hip Slapped, a Signal for Noise
“All Okay, Jumpmaster”

Doors Open
Wind Whistles
Overwhelming Voices
Jumpmasters lean out the doors

“Stand In the Door”
Heard Because of Hand Signals
Shuffle Forward
Dragon Missile from Ankle to Shoulder

First Light Fills the Sky
Ocean Waves Visible
No Land in Sight
Water Landing a Real Fright

“Go”
Slap Starts a Spring
Up and Out the Door
Wind Whips Around

“One, One Hundred”
“Two, One Hundred”
“Three, One Hundred”
A Welcome Feel

Woven Straps Rising
Past the Cheeks
Past the Ears
Jerk

Flipped Around
Skirt Caught
Engine Wash
Silence

Silk Appearing
Like Dandelions
Look Up
Full Canopy

“Thanks, God”
“The Best Skirt”
“Looked Up”
“Able to Go Home”

“No Time for Her Now”
“Where Am I?”
Search the Horizon
Breakers Beach Drop Zone

Pull the Riser
Head for the Beach
Loose Altitude
Sandy Beach Release

Elephant Grass
Asphalt Road
Drop Ruck Sack
Drop Dragon Missiles

Hit Elephant Grass
Settle to the Ground
Feet, Butt, Head
Release Parachute

Wiggle Toes
Rotate Ankles
Bend Knees
Raise Legs

Wiggle Fingers
Rotate Wrists
Bend Elbow
Raise Arms

Remove Reserve Chute
Remove Harness
Spring to Feet
Find Parachute Apex

Roll Parachute on Arms
Stuff It in the Bag
Attach the Reserve
Throw on Back

Follow Lowering Line
To Rucksack and Dragon
Struggle to the Road
Overloaded

Drop Parachute at Recovery Point
Head for Assembly Area
Find Fire Buddy
Set-up Security

Two Weeks Jungle Training
Then Go Home
Dangerous Part
Is Done.