Under a Rock in the Sinai Desert

Our oldest son, Kyle, enlisted in the Army, 82nd Airborne Division, on a delayed basis, in June of 1990. He left for basic training 12 days after high school graduation in June 1991. When he was going to jump school at Ft. Benning in Columbus, Georgia, he had one bad practice jump. A fellow landed on his canopy and they both hit the ground hard from about 50 ft. Up. Neither was hurt badly, but Kyle’s hip was bruised.

Not wishing to get too far behind he cajoled the doctor to clearing him to go back to jump school to complete his practice jumps and get his wings. He was still hurting. For some reason, he was late for the bus that transported the trainees to the airstrip where the transport plane awaited them. Rather than chew2 him out, his drill sergeant drove him to the strip. When he got arrived there wasn’t a field pack for him to jump with, like they always did, so he had the good fortune to jump without an 80 pound pack on his back. His good luck was made complete by landing in the only really soft portion of the entire landing zone.

Fast forward to Egypt, a year later. He was serving with his unit in an observation and resupply function in the Sinai Desert, overseeing the truce. One day they were taking supplies to one of the distant outposts and stopped for a bit of shade beneath a rock outcropping, there being little or no vegetation in the Sinai. He sat down under one rock where there was room for two and immediately was very uncomfortable where he sat, not from sitting on a stone or hot sand, but like something was telling him to move. He moved over like a person would move from one seat to the next one in a movie theater and another fellow sat down where Kyle had been. At that precise moment, a piece of the rock fell down and killed the other fellow. I know that is a tragic circumstance, but Kyle was not supposed to die there and then. I know God provided for the dead soldier’s family.

Richard Coleman drjekyll@hazleton.net

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