In Florida: Jumping with the 82nd

He feels the giddiness deep in his gut: an amalgam of excitement, anticipation and, he admits only to himself, a touch of fear. His unit has just been alerted for a mass jump. With each ritualistic step from now until he is back on the ground, the giddiness will return. That is part of all this, a part the Paratrooper likes best.

The largest U.S. parachute drop in peacetime wafted down onto the sandy scrubland of Florida's panhandle early one morning this month: 2,640 soldiers leaping from 20 huge C-141 jets, along with three more planeloads of Jeeps and other heavy equipment....

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