Sunday, April 19, 2015

Soldier Down

We learn this morning that a soldier of the storied 82d Airborne division has died during a training exercise at Fort Polk.
A news release from the soldier's division, the North Carolina-based 82nd Airborne, says Pvt. Joshua D. Phillips, 19, of Las Vegas, Nevada, died during the exercise Thursday.
Army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Cathy Wilkinson says Phillips died while parachuting during an exercise to simulate the seizure of an airstrip. The cause is under investigation and she couldn't elaborate.
Jumping out of airplanes is dangerous, even during training exercises.  I'm sure that Pvt Phillips was a noble warrior, a paragon of virtue, and a joy to his family and friends.  Even if I never knew him, I mourn for him.  Rest in peace, Pvt Philips, and repose in the thanks of a grateful nation.

2 comments:

Old NFO said...

Amen, he gave his life for his country. RIP Pvt Phillips.

Theother Ryan said...

Jumping is dangerous. Not too long ago at JRTC BG Hickman broke his leg on a jump. I hesitate to know stats but I would guess broken ankles/ legs run about 1/150. More significant injuries such as backs are probably 1/400. Fatalities might be 1/4000.

Figuring this was a BN operation about 800 people jumped. By my very rough numbers do that 5 times and somebody dies.

I do not for a second mean to look poorly on PVT Philips. He was probably a good soldier and did all the right things. Maybe your chute doesn't open or it collapses or someone steals your air or you get caught in a cross wind and driven into the trees or you just plain land wrong. Jumping is just plain dangerous.

If I sound callused about death it comes from my experiences and that death is a constant reality. Gallows humor I think they call it. Sometimes you roll the dice and get snake eyes. I sincerely hope that young man died a quick painless death and had his SGLI and survivors benefits made out to the people he wanted them to go to (vs an ex or something). RIP PVT Phillips, Airborne leads the way!