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When I flew like a bird

Man has always been fascinated with the possibility of flight. The last time I strolled through the myriad halls of the Louvre museum in Paris, for example, I noticed that at least three of the top ten exhibits had wings: the “Lamassu,” winged bulls with the heads of men from ancient Assyria (3000 BC), the “Victoire de Samothrace,” or “Winged Victory” sculpture (190 BC), from Greece,  and the statue of  “Psyche Ranimee par le Baiser de l’Amour,” or “Psyche Revived by the Kiss of Love” (1787 AD), featuring Cupid’s wings, from Italy.

The most popular exhibit in the Louvre, of course, is the “Mona Lisa” (1503-1517), a painting by Leonardo da Vinci, a polymath who was also preoccupied with flight.

Among his many inventions, none of which actually got off the ground, were the airplane, the helicopter, and the parachute.

This is where I come in. 

When I got out of Officer Candidate School (OCS), in my mind, at least, I was “180 pounds of spring steel and sex appeal,” and I decided that I really wanted to be a paratrooper.

The problem was that I was in the Navy instead of the Army. However, I had a plan.

I knew that midshipmen from the Naval Academy often attended the Army Airborne (Parachute) School at Fort Benning, Georgia, so I knew there was a precedent. I just had to figure out how to get my name on the list.

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