Five couples from diverse backgrounds got to sail the warm spring winds of the York River while taking in an air show overhead.
Two intriguing fellows had never sailed before but quickly got the knack of the helm for a particular reason. Steven “Junior” Sawyer was a parachutist in the US Army, and Joshua Franck is a trained Navy corpsman.
Junior said, “I served in the 101st Airborne Air Assault Division, also known as the Screaming Eagles. We learned to rappel from 100 to 150 feet down from a helicopter. It takes only seconds if it’s done right and feels very much like freefalling. You use Caribiner clips, which are D rings, to slow you down. You wrap the line around your waste and adjust the Caribiner as you descend quickly to slow you down at the end.”
Junior’s gal Ashley Schultz was reluctant to take the wheel, but eventually she sat in his lap as he walked her through it. Shortly she became proficient and yielded the best photo of the day among more than 50 shots.
Junior did one 13-month tour in the Iraq War and another 13 months in the Afghanistan War, achieving 16 combat jumps in the effort. Today, “I’m medically retired. I blew out my knee and blew out my back. Now all I do is hunt and fish and go to school.” He’s at ECPI studying mechanical engineering.
After Joshua Franck became a Navy corpsman, he took more medical training at Fort Sam Houston and today serves as an OR tech at Portsmouth Naval Hospital. “Yesterday I was in surgery with a man whose lungs eventually had to be repaired for a malignant tumor. I never thought I’d be doing work like that. It’s fascinating.
“Much of my training was in San Diego. I got the full spectrum of general surgery and then eye surgery. When I came here, the Navy said I was assigned to B Company at Portsmouth, which does orthopedic surgery. I participated in a full knee replacement last week, which is a big deal. I hope someday to go into Perfusion. That’s the machine that pumps blood to the body while the heart is removed temporarily.”
Our country is in good hands.
Let’s Go Sail, and Thank the Military
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