As the rear door of the C-130 opens up, I see the early morning sun reflect off the Gulf of Mexico 10,000 feet below. I have never jumped out of a plane before, but if you are going to do it, I figure you may as well do it strapped to a member of Air Force Special Operations Command.
The airman taps me on the shoulder and we stand awkwardly, harnessed together and waddling to the back of the plane. A few jumpers leap before us. I perch right on the edge of the open aircraft door, looking down at the Florida panhandle. I lift my feet and hang from the tandem jumpmaster like a 210-pound sack of supplies. He steps off and the wind catches us immediately, flipping us over backward.
Then we are falling.