I graduated from basic training and AIT in February 1981. I went to Airborne School at Ft. Benning, Georgia. I got there around two o’clock in the morning and went to sleep. At five in the morning the Sergeant Airborne ( that’s how the instructor are called in the school ) woke me up. I was so tired but I didn’t have anything to said in the matter. When I went to brush my teeth and shave my beard I look around and nobody had a mustache so I shaved mine. I had a friend that join the military the same day I did. We were in basic training in the same platoon so we knew each other very good. He also signed to be a paratrooper and we went together to the school. Like I was telling you before nobody have mustache and my friend didn’t shave his. when we were in formation the sergeant ask him why he did not shave his mustache. He pretended not understand what the sergeant was saying but he didn’t know he was Puerto Rican too. The sergeant got close to his face and told him in Spanish real loud to shave his mustache. It sounded funny in Spanish. So, I LOL in silent because, it would get me in trouble if I do it loud, he ran like if he was in the Olympics running the one hundred meters flat.
We began the same day. So, we lost the first week because the course is four-week long. First week is preparation week. That’s when you get all the gear needed for the training and do all the chore around the base. Then is ground week where you learned how to land on the ground and what you have to do in case of an emergency. Tower week is when they dropped you in a parachute from a thirty-four feet tower. There you learned how to control the parachute in the air and practice how to land. Jump week is the last week. You have to jump from thousand feet five time in the two different combat parachute that the USA Army used at that time the T-10 and the dash-1 parachute. The training finish when you make the last jump without any problem.
To end let me tell you what happen one time in the mess hall line. The sergeant call for three soldier to go inside and I was the four. I didn’t hear the number so I went in. The sergeant pull me outside drop me to the ground and told me to do ten push-up. Since I just got out of basic training I was in good shape. I got cocky and begin bouncing from the ground about a feet high. So, instead of doing ten push-up I end up doing about hundred. He let me continue until I was exhausted. When I finish I wasn’t hungry anymore. I have an orange juice and let the mess hall. It’s better to be humble to stay out trouble.