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Episode 29 - Jump Scratched I The Combat Jump That Never Happened

On the evening of September 18, 1994, almost 3,000 All American Paratroopers were packed, rigged, armed, and ready.  Loaded down with M16s, ammunition, water, flashlights, and parachutes, they were stuffed in the back of C-130s and two hours away from an airborne invasion into Haiti.

For many, this would be their first taste of combat.  They were carried by adrenaline, by dreams of airborne glory, by a vision of a return to the Division's D-Day glory.  They were two hours away from a valorous mission, a lifetime of stories, and a gold combat star in the middle of their airborne wings.

Two hours was as close as they would get.

These men were to form the initial assault force for an operation to remove that country's dictator. The mission, Operation Restore Democracy, would be the airborne assault that never was.

In episode 29 of the All American Legacy podcast we hear from some of the Paratroopers on those C-130s.  We'll also hear how the threat of the 82nd Airborne Division caused General Joseph Raoul Cédras, the de facto ruler of Haiti, to step down and allow for democratic elections.  We'll dispel some popular myths about that mission and offer the real story of Operation Restore Democracy.

The All American Legacy Podcast is produced by the 82nd Airborne Division Public Affairs Office. A new episode on the 100-year legacy, culture, and history of the 82nd Airborne Division is released every Tuesday.

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