Looking him over once more, the sergeant was sure Jake McNiece was lying. “You know, if they discover you’re over 28 they’ll take you out of the airborne and put you in the infantry, or wherever else they decide.”

“I’m only 23, so I’m not worried about that,” he replied. “I can make it. Just get me in and give me a shot at paratroop service.”

The sergeant chuckled a little and said. “You may be 23, I don’t know. But, your head, neck and shoulders looks like they’ve been used for live grenade practice.”

McNiece reaffirmed his age once again, and the sergeant, still with reluctance, gave in and signed his orders. Soon enough, the recruit was on his way through basic and advanced training, then preparing himself for the final hurdle… Airborne School. And here, much to his surprise, he waited seven more days for the Army to find seven volunteers to join him for the trip to Camp Toccoa, Georgia.