Flying over Charlotte with my mouth closed



The U.S. Army parachute team, Golden Knights, were scheduled to jump at Johnson C. Smith University today, but it didn’t happen.

Once the elite team was up in the air and over the target, the winds were just too much for them. Safety first.

On the flip side of that, I should’ve stayed on the ground.

When I heard about the jump and the media fly over, I thought yes, this will be an experience.

And it was.

Let me be clear, all of the soldiers were great and if my mouth hadn’t been frozen for fear of barfing, I would’ve asked a few questions. Did I mention that we were flying 4,500 feet in the air with the doors of the plane open? Do you have any idea how cold that was?

Let me say this, I wore a leather coat, sweater, turtleneck, scarf, gloves, hat, jeans and boots and I still felt as if I was sitting there in booty shorts and a tank top.

Sgt. Pete White did warn that it would be cold. So, whatever the temperature was today around noon, just subtract 35 degrees.

The plane circled around the city and the view was marvelous. Charlotte is really pretty from thousands of feet above. But I knew I was in trouble when my barf bag flew out the side of the plane and I felt nauseated.

Being that I was the only woman on the plane, I refused to get sick. Besides, DZL from 106.5 The End was there. Could you imagine the jokes about Creative Loafing he would’ve made had I thrown up?

So, I’m sitting by the door, shivering and hoping that someone jumps off this damned plane soon. You could tell something was wrong, though. When Army men start talking in hushed tones away from the media, that’s usually a sign of a problem.

The wind was pushing toward the interstate, so if a Golden Knight had jumped, we’d be telling a different story.

Part of the reason the group was in town was to ramp up interest in ROTC at JCSU. Ten student cadets at the university take a ROTC class at the school, but once a week they trek over to UNC-Charlotte to for tactical training.

Captain R. A. Vinson said he hopes to have 25 cadets from Smith next semester. (It’s worthy to note that I spoke with Vinson before getting on the plane and was able to ask questions.)

ROTC does not mean that you are enlisted in the Army. You only owe service — and that’s eight years of service — if you accept a scholarship. Vinson said the Army pays for books, tuition, room and board, and some students receive a stipend.

It all sounds good until you get a war monger as your commander in chief (1/20/09 — end of an ERROR).

However, in these economic times, I’m sure many young people struggling to pay for college might sign up.

Want to see what the Golden Knights do? Log on to:

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a meeting with a porcelain god.

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