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Word Count: 1,710
What am I doing here Rick thought to himselfJust yesterday morning he had gotten out of his warm bed He had kissed his wife goodbye and told her that he would be home around lunch time He had explained to her that because it was the Christmas season he only had to work a half-day schedule until Now eighteen short hours later he and one hundred and nineteen other paratroopers are packed like sardines in a military airplane bound for Panama He has a parachute strapped on his back and is loaded down with so much equipment that he can hardly breath This equipment however is different from what he has trained with over the last three years This equipment is real The bullets are real and so is the missionI cant believe this is really happening he whispers to himself for about the millionth time He doesnt have to worry about anybody hearing him though for the whine of the aircrafts engines has pushed each man on the airplane into his own mind The men are squeezed so tightly together that there is no hope of movement The only light in the aircraft comes from the soft red glow of the emergency lights overheadRick has been sitting in the same position for over three hours The weight of the backpack on his lap has cut off the circulation to his feet but there in no way to relieve that weight He would like a drink of water but he cant reach either canteen on his hips The only thing he can do is go over the last eighteen hours in his head againIt started off normal enough He had gotten to his company and done the usual physical training The rest of the morning also had gone as usual At lunch time however things started to rapidly go crazy He had returned from the chow hall expecting to be released for the rest of
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