A Bridge Too Far by Brian53
The airborne company sat about on the tarmac dressed in full jump equipment, ready for the upcoming operation. No one smiled and there was a nervous tension in the air.
The new recruit was apprehensive, fidgeting with his straps as he went through the drills in his mind.
The Staff Sergeant walked around his troop making sure that everyone had a buddy to check equipment. He laughed and joked with the men to try to ease the tension that always built up before a major operation. He spotted the new recruit sitting on his own and wondered why he didn’t have a buddy. “Well son where’s your buddy?” “Haven’t got one staff” “No problem, I’ll run the checks with you”
A runner arrived and the troop captain went off for the final briefing, tension was mounting. The call “Everybody up and in line” could be heard all over the side of the runway as troop after troop made their way to their allocated aircraft. The noise was deafening as the roar of the engines drowned out all the chatter.
Staff had them lined up ready to board when the captain returned. “Good job staff, lets get them aboard.”
Once airborne the troop visibly relaxed and the usual banter took over. The recruit was amazed at how calm everyone was, as his apprehension hadn’t left. The lights changed and everyone stood up waiting for go. Then before he knew what was happening he was moving towards the door. The gust of air that struck him as he left the plane was cold, amazingly his training automatically clicked in and he tried to relax. His first mission behind enemy lines, he felt exhilarated and ready to go.
As the initial rush left him as he looked down at the rapidly approaching drop zone, he kissed his crucifix and tucked it into his tunic. He said a silent prayer as the drop zone was overrun with the enemy. “Scared of a wee war zone son?” asked the approaching Captain. “You kidding?” came the reply “You shoulda seen me singing Walk On on my own among 399 colleagues and 46000 huns last weekend at Ibrox!”