Who is Packing Your Parahute? – Weekly Lessons from the Road

Ready to head out anywhere!
Ready to head out anywhere!

I remember like it was yesterday stepping up to the open door of a C 130 and looking down several thousand feet as a light flashed green and my Senior Jump Master gave the command to jump. I hesitated for just a brief moment and came to the realization that I feared my Sargent much more than the drop. It was my first jump as a paratrooper.

I took the most difficult step of my life out that door. The decision to jump defined my career in the 101st Airborne. But as I felt the shock of the static line another realization came to me. Who had packed my chute? Fortunately, that person had done a good job because my chute opened and I floated safely to the ground, successful. Four more and I would have my wings.

With each jump afterwards, I continued to think about the people who had prepared my gear; people I had not met but who my life depended on. In a moment of clarity, I realized that all the training I had gone through at Fort Benning would not have mattered much if it had not been for the skill and dedication of someone who had packed my parachute. Someone, who worked namelessly behind the scenes far from that plane and that Jump Zone.

That realization made me a better soldier and a better leader and that lesson has stayed with me throughout my life. In all that we do, as adventurers, we must never forget that there is a whole cadre of people who support us on our adventure and they, like that nameless rigger, determine if we are successful or not.

Before your next adventure, I invite you to reflect on those who are packing YOUR parachute and take a moment to thank them. For without those wonderful professionals, and those understanding family and friends, we would not be able to chase the sun down dusty trails to beaches with no names.

Author: Baja Moto Quest!

I am an educator who came out of retirement to consult with school districts, but I also live to ride my R1200GSA motorcycle as much as I can especially in Baja! In fact, without those adventures into the outback of Baja, I wouldn't be able to give my all at work or write. I've written a novel, Almost Human which was published recently and am working on the sequel, More Than Human.

16 thoughts on “Who is Packing Your Parahute? – Weekly Lessons from the Road”

    1. It’s such an honor to be nominated by such an talented and insightful blogger; especially in the company of such well crafted blogs. Many thanks! I am humbled. There are so many wonderful stories out there and we live in a time that gives us direct access to these stories without middle people deciding for us what is worthy. Writers, write, and blogging gives us a forum to perfect our craft. You really have a wonderful and perceptive voice.

      1. I’ll be happy to review it if I can get it from my library or you’re willing to send a copy on Word. What’s the novel’s genre and basic synopsis?

        Kenneth L. Decroo

        Almost Human begins in the 1930’s, in a storm off the coast of Africa on a sinking Soviet research vessel that is carrying a secret cargo of mysterious creatures—the results of Russian experimentation with cross-breeding chimps and humans. This sets into motion a series of adventures that span five decades and several continents. An array of characters from the worlds of circuses, chimpanzee research labs and motion pictures are swept up into the search for these creatures.
        In the 1970’s, Drs. Ken Turner and Fred Savage, a couple of young research scientists, and their signing chimp, Mike, team up with an aging animal trainer, Lester, and his old chimp, Girlie, as well as a stuntman, midget Bobby Waiter to follow rumors of chimp/human hybrids that may have survived the shipwreck. Turner and Savage want to study them.
        But Deter Vandusen and his group of unscrupulous government operatives want to use the creatures for less altruistic purposes. They put everything at risk in their pursuit of Turner’s group. They will stop at nothing to find the creatures first.
        The chase takes Turner and Savage from their research facility for communicating with chimpanzees in Reno, Nevada to the Wild Animal Training Center to a treacherous little circus in Mexico, to the wilds of the Belgian Congo as they collect the clues, meet fascinating characters, and fight to survive danger from all sides, which leads inevitably to threats against their research and their lives.
        They do survive—just barely—but their research grants may be lost, and the almost human hybrids they discover have now been let loose in Africa to use their great strength and intellect against people.
        That story continues in the sequel, More Than Human.

  1. Once again, a FAB post! I very much relate to your analogies, and this one is essential. BTW, my brother-in-law was airborne out of Ft. Bragg. Thank you so much for your time in service to our country. Truly you were one “packing the chute” for the rest of us back home.

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