My Heroes – Part Two, by Cpl Arnhem
At last we received the phone call to tell us it was all systems go!! Today I was to perform a tandem jump with my heroes – The Red Devils, the Parachuite Regiment Free-fall Team.
I arrived at Old Sarum airfield, Salisbury, and posed by their poster just to prove I was there.
The team had been there most of the morning and performed a number of jumps with other people raising money for other charities … and one gentleman who had been given the opportunity as a birthday present. He also very kindly and perhaps wisely!! assisted my bearer with the correct settings on her camera – cough cough!!
The decision was made I was to jump with Sgt Baz Loftus, and a few adjustments later and I was safely attached to him.
What a handsome couple of Paras we are – needless to say we were asked to pose for a few photos. I’ve become a dab hand (or should that be paw!) at dealing with the attentions of photographers and the public.
A last minute adjustment by Cpl Nath Connolly …….
…. And we were running to catch the rest of the team to board the plane.
The flight to 15000 feet was awesome – Team banter enjoyed by all, and the views of the surrounding countryside inspiring. Other tandem jumpers left the aircraft and then it was my turn – a few words of encouragement from my instructor and we were free falling – WOW!!!
The ground was rushing towards us or us towards it at an alarming rate and then POW!! The parachute was deployed and I could enjoy the descent – words cannot describe the feeling.
My bearer was waiting with the ground crew at the drop zone and took a number of photos – not too bad for an amateur!!
A perfect landing was executed by Sgt Loftus and we walked triumphantly back towards my bearer.
A final pose for the camera, Baz looking slightly cooler than me (darn it, I had left my sunglasses in the car)
Then it was back to the holding area to be presented my certificate
Having thanked the team (they said that we were welcome anytime) and said our goodbyes it was all too soon to return to normal life, my paws were firmly on the ground, but my head was in the clouds for the rest of the day.
Now to collect the sponsorship money …….. an update will follow.
Cpl Arnhem signing off.