Everyone in the Army can tell who a paratrooper is, whether it’s their maroon beret or their dress uniform pants tucked into their jump boots, they are the pride of the Army.
While the Marines specialize in arriving to battle by sea, the Army is the only branch of the military that truly specializes in the mass insertion of ground troops into battle from the air.
For one young Starbucks barista, being an Airborne paratrooper was what she wanted to be in the Army.
“When I joined the Army and was told what Airborne is, I asked for that in my contract and got it,” Army Private Kent said on TikTok.
“I thought it was the coolest thing ever -you know- and I was like oh my god; I want to be that guy,” she added.
After completing her basic training at Fort Jackson and her advanced individual training to become a 92W (Water Treatment Specialist) at Fort Lee, she arrived at Fort Moore (then Fort Benning) for Airborne school.
“I had a great time. Airborne school went without a hitch,” she said. She says all her Hollywood jumps -two daytime and one night- went perfectly but her first combat jump was drastically different.
On that jump, she was the 14th person to exit the C-130 Hercules aircraft and everything went smoothly until it was time to lower her rucksack below her before impact.
When she looked down, she noticed a fellow Airborne school trainee who had just landed below her.
“I know if I land on this guy, I’m going to kill him,” she said. “I’m about to land on this man’s f****ing head,” she added.
While attempting to create a quick solution, she decided she had to pull on the parachute risers to try and avoid contact but ended up slipping downwind.
The slip helped her dodge the fellow soldier but caused her to oscillate below her chute.
From there, she is not exactly what happened but thinks her rucksack may have been caught on something on the ground but she ultimately made contact with the ground on her left side at a high rate of speed.
“I shattered my left femur and left hip,” she said. “I basically went into shock and was unable to undo my canopy release so I was drug about 30 feet.”
She credits an Army medic for saving her after he was able to undo her canopy release.
“I was dying, quite literally dying of shock,” she said.
Private Kent says she was losing blood from internal bleeding and had to be injected with ketamine to keep her from moving so that she would not injure herself more.
She was medically evacuated by air to a “civilian hospital” where she was “put back together.”
Kent said the hardest part of the experience was wondering what things would be like if it never happened.
When someone suggested she settle for being medically retired from the Army, she stated she wanted to heal and stay in since it is her dream.
“It’s worth it to me,” she wrote. “This was my dream”
After a long recovery, that is just what she did.
Last week, the Private First Class Kent proudly announced she received her first challenge coin while serving in the 82nd Airborne.
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