Between the security of childhood and the insecurity of a second childhood you will find the Para.
They are magical creatures who are “Mavericks with a pack of cards” and at the same time millionaires without a Bob, in fact they are complete enigmas to those who don’t know them or what motivates them. It has been said by some that they eat their meat with the hair on and have killed more men than the seven year plague, that they are “Supermen”, “Animals” or “Rogues” whilst others call them “Angels with dirty faces” and that three good things fall from the sky, Rain, Birdshit, and Para’s – the truth being somewhere in between them all.
There is a saying “Once a Para always a Para”. This is not only true but etched in stone, etched by the toil, sweat, tears and pain of passing selection and on battlefields around the world, the little blue badge of courage on their right sleeve together with the Red Beret that they so proudly wear denotes the guts, determination, courage, and the will never to give up that makes them elite and binds them together for life no-matter how high the office he may attain in later life.
Para’s have an infectious humour and wit, some may call it course, unthinking and uncaring. They can find something funny in every situation they may find themselves, no-matter how dire and dangerous that situation may be to him, but he knows his humour is a form of defence from the horrors that he may encounter carrying out the duties he is asked to perform.
Old Para’s never die, they just go to hell and regroup, their motto’s are “Ready for anything” and “All to one purpose” this makes him tenacious in the attack with a will to succeed no-matter what, or how big that obstacle may be. He also has the ability to show compassion to a fallen or wounded foe (but not at the risk to himself or his mates).
The Para is known for his loyalty, integrity, and honour towards his Country, Regiment, but first and foremost to the man next to him in a battle, his comrades who also wear the “maroon machine” are not automatons each is an individual who brings his own strengths to the whole. Those who wish to lead them understand that they are more than able to use their own initiative to achieve the aim, and will have no truck with a leader who does not put the welfare of his men before is own. Just as he puts the welfare of his weapon first.
A Para’s likes are: Girls, Ladies, Women, Females and all members of the opposite sex.
His dislikes are: Craphats, Politicians, Dehydrated ration packs, Hats, Politicians, his girlfriend’s “Old man’s curfew”, Bullshit and not forgetting Politicians, who call for war but never put themselves forward to fight in it.
The very old, the weak, the fearful and the very young need never fear the Para, for he has seen fear in all its forms, he knows that fear can overpower and debilitate a person, he has faced it throughout his training and learned to overcome it.
To have a Para as a friend, is to have a true friend, he does not take friendship lightly, they are always willing to put themselves in the way of harm for their friends and have died for them, so treasure their friendship. No-one can think of you so often, yet write or call so seldom. You may try to change him, but be aware that no-matter what changes you make, inside he will always remain a Para.
You may wish to keep him at arm’s length, or out of your phone and address book, but love him or hate him, you can never keep him out of your heart, for however you label him he will always remain
THE PARATROOPER (Every man an Emperor)