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[courtesy of Wm F Blum, Jr]

Bumps, Breaks and Bruises Become Routine Part of 508th Living

By Fred Rehal

         CAMP CHICKAMAUGA, Japan - Bumps, breaks and bruises are the three B s of airborne soldiers here.
   But they speak of them as if they were talking about tomorrow's weather. They are casual when they mention "that broken I leg" or "that dislocation." 
"Expect It" 
   It's one of the things you expect in this kind of a job," one 508th Abn. RCT paratrooper said. 
   It's a job reserved for the rugged. The need for physical fitness is constantly stressed here. There's studied concentration on good soldiering. A sloppy trooper is taken up quickly. 
   "Yes, we all get a few good bumps now and then," one veteran jumper said, "but actually jumping out of a plane is safer than walking across the street in some Japanese cities.
   Medics take no chances when, a man complains of anything 1 following a jump. The man is immediately moved to base for a more complete check.

   The drop zone most often used by the 508th is at Mori. "One of the toughest I've seen," according to a trooper who had just picked himself up in the head-high grass there.
    Although there is a spate of injuries in most large-scale air drips, they seldom keep the men out of further action for more than a day or two.
 Jump for Pay
Paratroopers get $55 a month extra in hazardous duty pay. Opinion is divided as to whether this is an incentive to the average trooper.
    One grizzled old-timer here said, "I'll quit jumping when they stop the extra pay."
   However, [most] non-jumpers agree that [some] would have to like the trill of jumping to remain a jumper.
 "Got To Be Determined"
One officer here described the airborne soldier this way:
   You can perhaps best describe the paratrooper as a determined man. He's got to be, or else he wouldn't last long in this outfit."

[Pacific Stars and Stripes, 19 Dec 1955]



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