Author “My Friend Yu – The Prosperity Mentor,” Copyright August 2007. Pantejo - Y.N. Vurce Publishing.

*The following story is incorporated in “My Friend Yu – the Prosperity Mentor: Book II,” Pantejo - Y.N. Vurce Publishing. Release Date: 2008.

“[Life] Amazing! Isn’t it?...”

- Medical Turf Wars -

“So, am I gon’na live?”

“Chief, I don’t know how you guys do it. I took a double-take on your birthday ‘cause your “biological” age and your “chronological” age just don’t match! What kind of veggies or vitamins are you taking? I haven’t seen a 28” waist since High School! I still lift (weights) regularly and am an amateur bodybuilder. What’s your bodyfat percentage?” He said.

Trying to get on his good side, I said, “I don’t know. Four months ago, the Aviation Medical Technician doing the prelims for one of my physical exams said it was ‘too low to be healthy’, I think. Whatever that means?”

He was the DMO (Diving Medical Officer), a lieutenant (Officer Grade 3 in the Navy), and in his mid-thirties (my age at the time). He was already beginning to bald, and slightly paunchy. He still had the big arms and barrel chest of a Navy Diver, but probably hadn’t seen a six-pack on his body for years.

“So, what’s your secret? My wife would go totally ga-ga if I could get my college body back.”

I didn’t want to tell him that the simple answer was to get rid of his wife. Single men tended to be more “hungry” and had less extraneous obligations.

And it took a very understanding spouse to put up with the lifestyle of “an athlete in uniform.” The hours of training were just too long for even the most loving wife.

I knew. I was on my second wife and the marriage’s prognosis looked very bleak.

Grinning at the doctor I said, “Amazing, isn’t it? I attribute my girlish figure to celibacy and pure thoughts.”

(In reality, I PT’d [physically trained] for at least 3 hours a day, ate like a pig all day, then drank beer and chased women at night.)

The rest of the time I wasted on frivolous things (like work).

We both laughed.

Then I asked, “Sir, when can I leave?”

“If it was up to me, I’d let you go now. But as you know, you need to be cleared by the ‘other guys’ too,” the DMO said.

“I can’t be medically disqualified right now. I got some important orders,” I desperately whined.

The truth was that I was to do some “exchange student” exercises with a few of my counterparts from foreign military units (e.g., Republic of Korea, British, Australian, and Thailand teams) in the next few weeks.

“Cobra Gold” was the official name of the annual joint military exercises held on and around the Pattaya Beach area of Thailand.

I looked forward to this yearly “Work Hard, Play Hard” event.

I especially loved the beautiful women. They’re always amazed that: 1) I am American, not Thai (I’m a mix of everything Asian) and 2) in spite of being “gaa” (Thai: old), like a Tantric Sex Master, I can go on for hours in the bedroom.

Similar to Jack LaLane on his birthday (who?), I added more “degrees of difficulty” (meaning, participants) to my personal exploits every year.

“Chill out. I’m sure you’ll be discharged in time to go to Cobra Gold. Jeez! I love that place! Anyway, I’ve arranged for my most responsible Corpsman to keep you company. Just don’t corrupt her too much” he said, smiling like the devil.

These “Medical Turf Wars” were a hassle for people like me.

Instead of periodic physical examinations by one doctor, I had to be cleared by several different doctors (e.g., Med/Specwar guy, Diving Doc, Flight Surgeon, PTSD Psychiatrist, etc.).

This meant having at least three, instead of one, rectal exam every year!

I never got used to that.

One year, after getting past the point of being pissed off, I invited all the nurses to witness my rectal exams.

Since all Military Hospitals double as learning institutions, there was never a shortage of an audience (mostly interns, new Corpsman, and fresh Nursing school graduates).

Laying prone on the examination table and my bare ass in the air, I proclaimed to the giggling group of students, “Have your way with me. My ass is your ass!”

The responses (and phone numbers afterwards) were well worth it.

But when I saw who was going to be my companion during her Duty Day, I didn’t mind that I’d be here (on a Submarine Tender Medical Ward) overnight.

“Thanks Doc!” I shouted as the DMO bade his farewell.

- Those Medical Slackers -

Looking down at the cute Filipina Corpsman at the foot of my bed, I asked, “Are you sure you want to hear this?”

“Yes, of course. I’ve read about it, but I’ve never met anyone who has actually experienced it,” she said, momentarily breaking her gaze away from my powerful erection to smile a little, naughty smile.

Did she just lick her lips?

Then, silently, she stood up, walked to the “wrong” side of the patient bed, reached across my body, and checked the I.V. bag and drip chamber hanging on a metal hook on the other side of the bed.

“Accidentally” smothering me with her chest, she whispered, “Oops. Sorry.”

“No problem, no problem at all, HN (Hospitalman, E-3 paygrade) Marisol.”

During my short stay in her Sickbay/Ward, we had already established a close, informal rapport. I teased her by addressing her by the appropriate military title “HN,” but then finished it with the totally inappropriate, overly friendly use of her first name (Marisol) instead of her last name.

I could usually tell when to cross the line or not.

Medical personnel (officer and enlisted alike) were notorious for employing lax military standards and sloppy decorum.

Line Officers called them “Slackers, referring to their apparent lack of military bearing. I couldn’t blame them (the medical personnel). In fact, initially, when I first joined the service, I was just like them.

You see, most military medical personnel were just biding their time, simply repaying the military back for their medical training. After one hitch (tour of duty), they usually left active duty to pursue a more lucrative, civilian medical career. This applied to the majority of doctors, nurses, and Corpsmen within all branches of the U.S. Military Services (Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps).

The U.S. Marine Corps had no indigenous medical personnel. That was why I, a Navy Independent Duty Corpsman, was technically a sailor, but, for all practical purposes, was a Marine at heart. Except for my mandatory stints at Navy Hospitals and “Tin Cans” (small ships), I spent the bulk of my career deployed with Marines (specifically, the Diver/Jumper types).

I spent equal time honing my technical skills AND my Marine (grunt) skills. Consequently, I had little time to gather dust. If I wasn’t doing the required CME (Continuous Medical Education - emergency medical training), I was busy diving, jumping, or shooting.

Since I love those activities, the years zoomed by. Before I knew it, over two decades had past and it was time to retire. Mainstreaming into regular, civilian life was hard for me. (But that’s another story).

Back to this story.

Almost sadistically, I prayed for missions because they had an immediate and direct focus (no trivial, unrealistic training and classes by some civilian geek or hospital administrator with no clue about real life operations).

Ninety-percent of any mission was spent on prep time (warning orders, mission briefs, physical examinations, immunizations, equipment checks, etc), travel time (ship, submarine, or airplane); and, once the mission was completely executed, aborted while in progress, or cancelled before going operational, there was the required extensive de-brief time and after action reports.

- My Angel of Mercy Revisited -

Turning my attention back to the sexy Corpsman, I said, “Hell, I’m just glad to have company!”

I had a big sh*t-eating grin on my face; mainly because I was not talking directly to her face, but to the uniform-bursting breasts that were currently dancing in front of my nose.

She blushed again.

With a half-smile, she resumed her position at the end of my bed –fixing her eyes on my blatant hard-on and continued her “Watch.”

“Imagine That…”

Marisol propped her elbows at the foot of my bed and held her face in her hands. The posture instantly conjured up “peek-a-boo, hide-n-sneek” breast fantasies in my head (both of them)!

In any other situation I would have initiated “full-body, hand-to-butt/bust CQB (close quarters combat),” but held back to examine my angel of mercy, visually savoring her youthful beauty and tight, yet buxom, body.

After looking at her full lips and angel face, I wondered if she liked big popsickles?

Then I continued my story about the first time I suffered from “Priapism,” an uncontrolled erection that often becomes a medical emergency…

…Okay, there I was, wildly falling through the air. My main parachute had malfunctioned and all my attempts to correct it proved futile. I was losing altitude by the second and now it was time to use the last resort: the reserve parachute.

The reserve chute was considered the last resort for a couple of reasons. First, it was much smaller than the main chute; and secondly, the reserve chute for this particular Army Infantry configuration was worn on the stomach. It was called “the belly pack,” because the rest of the soldier’s gear was worn below the main parachute pack on the soldier’s back. Located at the small of the back and extending down past the buttocks, this additional gear worn under the main chute was called the “butt pack.”

In this way, supposedly, the soldier was somewhat balanced in the weight distribution of his gear. Nevertheless, especially with a deployed (opened) butt pack (and its accompanied, lanyard connected, extracted gear), the normal, preferred vertical posture was almost impossible to maintain.

I had to jettison the main chute via its harness clips (specialized buckles with a two-step process for separating the shoulder harness straps from the main parachute risers).

The real trick was timing. Ideally, both buckles are to be opened simultaneously.

Bad news for me.

I couldn’t open both buckles together because I was wildly oscillating through the air. The parachute canopy above me looked like a bag of worms, while I felt like the main attraction at a public hanging, dangling by one riser.

This meant that I could only reach one buckle. The other riser was far above the first, tangled amongst shroud lines and the beginning of the canopy skirt.

The furthest buckle had to be opened first. If I opened the nearest buckle, I would have had to wrestle with a taught riser and a buckle buried under tight material. (It would be like trying to get to a coin embedded in a fist full of tight shoelace knots.)

Doing a pull-up and climbing past the exposed buckle, I cut away a mass of shroud-lines with my hooked shroud-line cutter, found the buried buckle, and released. Immediately my body assumed an awkward “hanging by one arm” position. The jolt of repositioning was felt all along the left side of my body. Not much pain (probably due to adrenaline). My left hand, arm, and shoulder felt numb and clumsy. I tried to re-stow my hooked shroud-line cutter, but…but, it was gone! I must have lost my grip on it when the opening shock jolted my body.

“Imagine That…”

Oh well, if I survive this, I guess I’ll have to bribe another Survival Equipment person for another cutter. (I wasn’t the best at sanitizing my actions. I lost or forgot gear often - a bad habit that would severely impact my life later on. Yet again, another story for later consumption).

Bribing a lower ranked Marine in the Survival Equipment shop was much easier than filling out the mountain of paperwork required when reporting missing gear for replacement.

Then I released the second (last) buckle, dramatically accelerated downward, and saw the tangled mess of the main parachute assembly, shroud-lines, and canopy material fly away from me like a bird of prey releasing a mouse that was too small to eat.

I put one arm out and rolled to my back (facing the sky) and assumed a “reverse free-fall position,” that is, instead of the normal free-fall position (face toward the Earth and spread eagle), I now looked more like a dead cockroach.

Ironically, through all this, I smiled while I rolled.

I always loved maneuvering during free-fall. It is intoxicating and called “relative work.” It really feels like you’re swimming through the air. It’s like doing gymnastics in a loud, raging river. For example, if you do a stiff-legged, double leg lift, your body is put into a reverse somersault. If you stick one arm or one leg further away from the body, you rotate in that direction. One birthday I did an ungodly amount of jumps and went to sleep that night exhausted, happy, and dreaming of being Superman.

Supine, I pretended to be a badminton birdy.

And within seconds, my free-fall was controlled.

Reaching to my belly pack (reserve parachute), I found the pull ring, and prepared to pull. In one, symmetrical motion I pulled the ring with one hand and abducted my arm (moved the arm away from my body) while simultaneously mimicking the same motion with the other arm.

It looked like I was doing the top half of a ballet dancer’s pirouette. The reason for this was aerodynamic symmetry. If I didn’t copy the motion of the pulling arm, there was a chance that I may rotate onto my stomach again – not a good thing with a “belly pack” reserve setup.

Experiencing “temporal distortion,” I saw the flaps of the reserve shoot open in s-l-o-w m-o-t-i-o-n. A small drogue chute peeked out of the pack and began to extract the rest of the material. It all seemed surrealistic, like I was sliding face down on a giant synthetic “silk” slide in the sky.

(My mind flashed to the briefing before this jump. Almost as a premonition, I asked the PR [Parachute Rigger] what were the procedures for a malfunctioned reserve chute.

With an evil grin, he said, “Do a Michael Jackson.”

“A what?” I asked.

“Beat it! Beat it! Beat it!” he chuckled.

“Imagine That…”)

Then the wall of moving silk disappeared and all of a sudden shroud-lines pulled taught and slapped me in the face.

In spite of being a smaller chute, the combination of my relatively light Asian frame and no additional weight from Infantry Gear made the reserve parachute’s opening shock turn me into the helpless victim of a T.V. Wrestler. I was getting the infamous “back breaker” maneuver.


Earlier, the first opening shock of the now defunct main chute made me feel like I was being split in half (from the crotch up); and now the God’s were trying to bend me in half backwards - like I was some chemlight stick that needed to be activated!

Oh well, at least my day was getting a little better.

I was now under a full reserve parachute, swaying like an airlifted cargo crate.

- Pondering my PLF -

The next challenge on my checklist was the task of doing a decent PLF (Parachute Landing Fall). The purpose of the PLF was to distribute the impact of landing across the whole body, therefore; theoretically reducing the chances of injury.

But my experiences over the years showed me that even the most perfect PLF’s can result in sprained ankles, broken legs, shattered clavicles (collar bones), fractured hips, dislocated shoulders, etc.

The Landing Procedures and textbook PLF is as follows:

1.Maneuver (steer) into the wind, so the chute falls behind you. This is easily done during training jumps. One only has to orient himself into the opposite direction of the wind as indicated by a windsock (on land) or a boat’s flag (over water). Just think “stab yourself with the windsock or flag” and you’re going into the wind. But during real missions, one had to use other clues (e.g., whitecaps on waves, swaying branches of trees, etc.).
2.Keep your eyes on the horizon – don’t look down. Looking down makes the jumper incorrectly anticipate ground impact because of the illusion of “ground rush.” It also compromises the vertical posture needed to perform a good PLF.
3.Raise hands over your head, grasp, and hold onto the parachute risers throughout the PLF. This minimizes injuries to the shoulders, arms, and hands by preventing the chance of “flail” injuries - if you’ve ever stubbed your toe, replace your toe with an arm and you know what I mean.
4.Point toes downward and slightly bend the knees.
5.Tuck in the head (chin to chest).
6.Upon impact, immediately allow the body to roll laterally to whichever side that momentum, wind, and terrain moves your body.
7.Spread your impact force over the following parts of the body: balls of feet, calf, side of thigh, buttock, side of back, rear shoulder.

When performed correctly, the body should naturally fall and roll; ending up in a sitting position and opposite your parachute.

But instead of vertical, I was laying backward at a 45-degree angle. The reserve chute attached to my stomach and absence of butt pack weight forced me to keep as upright as possible by continually pulling on my risers.

I felt like I was stuck at “half-rep” on a Lat-Pull Down machine in the gym set with a full stack of weight.

Oh well, the horizon was in full view. I’d just have to make do.

- Ouch, that’s got’ta hurt! -

If you saw the way I landed, you’d probably wince with empathy.

Like fans at an American football game who witness a particularly nasty hit (tackle), you’d probably say that familiar American cliché: “Ouch, that’s got’ta hurt!”

Instead of balls of feet, calves, quads, glutes, lats, delts, and roll; my heels hit first.

Then came the vicious ground impact on my coccyx (butt bone).

The next assault was to the back of my head (Thank God, my Protech helmet didn’t shatter).

I tried to stand, but only made it to my knees. Everything was a spinning, blur. I wasn’t sure if my chute was in front of me or behind me.

My question was promptly answered. It was in front of me.

How did I know?

It re-inflated and began dragging me, head first, along the dirt, grass, and rocks of the drop zone!

Whack! One lens of my goggles breaks. Now one-half of my limited vision looked like a muddy spider web. Afraid of plastic chards going into my eye, I shut both eyes and ripped the goggles off my face.

Whack-whack-whack! The side of my helmet kept bouncing off the uneven ground.

(Another gust of wind.)

I tried to lift my head.

Bad idea.

The wind shifted into second gear and the chute began dragging me faster.

Shroud-lines that had wrapped themselves around my helmet and neck forced my head back down into the rock-strewn earth.

Great, now I’m digging a trench with my face.

“Imagine That…”

(Continued in “Imagine That…[4]”)

Your friend in this Intrepid Journey called Life,

Carl “J.C.” Pantejo

Cobra Gold, Thailand, Sexy, Filipina, PT, physical training, Corpsman, Medical, Turf, tantric sex, parachute, reserve chute, PLF.

Other articles by the author:

“Imagine That…(1) - The Asian Angel of Mercy and Assassins.”

“Imagine That…(2) - Hazardous Duty Incentive Pay HDIP:  Anything for a Buck?”

“Alternative Notions of Life, a Different Path, articles (1) – (7).” (This is an ongoing series of articles that focus on self-improvement, success, and happiness).

“Experiences from ‘The Flow’ series, articles (1) – (23).” (This is another ongoing series of articles about love, romance, Asian/Western relationships, relationship analysis, and more.)

“How Dare She! Out of Desperation I Learned How to Forgive”

“Remember Who You Are!”

“Need to Heal Your Broken Heart? Read on. Overcome Heartbreak and Learn the Illusive Secret of Happiness.”

“Simple (and Priceless) Life Lessons from the Most Influential Prosperity Mentor in My Life - My Father”

And much more!

(By Carl “J.C.” Pantejo and published internet-wide, keyword: [title of article] or “Carl Pantejo”)

Author's Bio: 

He is a retired U.S. Military veteran. Believing that school was too boring, he dropped out of High School early; only to earn an A.A., B.S., and MBA in less than 4 years much later in life – while working full-time as a Navy/Marine Corps Medic. In spite of a fear of heights and deep water, he free-fall parachuted out of airplanes and performed diving ops in very deep, open ocean water.