Yet another verse that is part of this immortal
C-130 rolling down the strip!
Airborne daddy gonna take a little trip!
Stand up, hook up, shuffle to the door!
Jump right out and count to four!
If my main don't open wide,
I've got another one by my side!
If that one should fail me too,
The rigger's gonna catch hell when I'm through!
I wanna be an Airborne Ranger!
I want to live the life of danger!
I wanna go to Viet Nam!
I wanna kill some Charlie Cong!
Translation of terms:
The C-130 is a propeller-driven military transport plane, the workhorse of the 20th-century American Army. The strip mentioned is the runway.
The soldiers sit in two rows on seats against the walls of the plane, and in preparation for the jump, they all stand and hook their static lines to a pair of cables running the length of the passenger compartment.
The reason they are shuffling is that they are usually carrying a huge duffel bag full of gear that is connected to them with another line, so they carry it in front of them until they jump.
The static line is what pulls out the parachute, usually within four seconds. If the main 'chute doesn't come out after a four-count, the soldier is supposed to pull his or her reserve.
A rigger is the person who packs the parachutes. Every once in a while, they have to pull a 'chute at random and jump with it.
The Vietnam part isn't sung anymore, I guess. The Viet Cong used to be called Charlie. (And Charlie don't surf, BTW.)