Magazine article Army Reserve Magazine

Life in the Fast Lane

Magazine article Army Reserve Magazine

Life in the Fast Lane

Article excerpt

Three 104th Division soldiers assigned on Fort Lewis had the chance of a lifetime recently, when they had the honor of skydiving with the Army's famous Golden Knights parachute team. After a short briefing on in-flight techniques and safety rules, Sgt. 1st Class Karen Fisher and Staff Sgt. Michael Herbinko, from the U.S. Army NCO Academy, donned the famous black and gold flight suits and mentally prepared for the "tandem" ride of their lives. Sgt. Maj. Richard Horton, 12 Battalion, 6th Brigade, had his jump the following day.

Fisher's says her heart was pounding with fear and excitement during the pre-jump flight. She said, "To pass the time and calm my nerves I watched beautiful Mount Rainier in the distance from my window."

Herbinko was concentrating on the fact that he was about to do the one thing he has always wanted to do. Horton was "surprised" at how calm he was, "especially just prior to jumping out of the aircraft." He said, "The Golden Knights exhibited so much confidence about themselves and their equipment that any apprehension that I may have had turned into eagerness to jump."

After what seemed only a few minutes, the aircraft reached a height of 12,500 feet and it was time to jump. As they scooted towards the door and looked out to see what looked like tiny model-like figures on the ground, Fisher said for the most part she remained calm.

"I was calm up until I was sitting in the doorway and the instructor was doing the `one..two..three' rock." She added, "At that time I knew I had no choice. …

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