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Training Exercises Gone Bad

I was part of a Chase Team, the first to go out of the aircraft as we jumped into Honduras. We had a full-size bulldozer on the back of a brand new C-141. We are pushing this thing out, and as soon as it exits the aircraft, the aircraft jumps about 30-feet.

We all get knocked to our knees, bottoms, and faces. We stagger up and attempt to crawl out and follow this thing out – we are the ‘Chase Team’ and we are supposed to “Chase the Bundle”. The bird makes another loop and below is this great big open field. Another 100 or so jump out behind us. Well, it didn’t work. Once we get to the ground, the giant bulldozer looks like a giant piece of modern art. The only thing sticking up out of the earth is this twisted blade. We begin our journey to the “Target” which is a tiny village meant to simulate a national capital.

We walk through giant blades of sawgrass, and after a mile or two, our uniforms are just rags, and everyone is all sliced up. The tall sawgrass opens up to regular grass and we all begin hopping over a 3 or 4 foot wide stream, easy to hop over. I’m watching everyone hop, but this one guy, you can tell he is just too tired; he steps into the stream, and disappears. It took about 4 or 5 seconds for my brain to figure out, “Oh Shit! Prez just…” I ditch my rucksack, ditch my LBE, and start running. I’m going to go down the hole and get Prez. As I get near, Prez, his name was Adrian Perez, a great guy, manages to push off the bottom of what turns out to be an eight or ten foot hole and get out. When I get to him, he has this hundred-pound backpack on, his LBE, and is still holding on to his weapon screaming, “It’s —–Deep!, It’s—–Deep!, It’s ——Deep!”

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