Soldiers are continually training in order to keep their skills sharp and prepared for use on combat missions. Training is used as a tool for proper preparation in order to preserve life. However, it did not work out that way for one paratrooper.
Black Hawk Jump
A 21-year-old paratrooper sustained fatal injuries during a jumping exercise on Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Spec. According to Army Times, Abigail Jenks was doing a static-line parachute jump from a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter.
Jenks was a member of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, a part of the 82nd Airborne Division. The incident is currently under investigation. Therefore the division's spokesman, Lt. Col. Mike Burns, did not offer any additional comment.
The investigation is being conducted by an Army Combat Readiness Center team from Fort Rucker, Alabama.
Jenks was originally from Gansevoort, New York. She served as a fire support specialist who was a forward observer in 1st Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team.
According to her battery commander, Capt. Brian Norman, "Spc. Abigail Jenks was a creative, hardworking, and confident Paratrooper. Her love for art, animals, and her friends reverberated wherever she worked. Her compassion for fellow Paratroopers will be truly missed."
Jenks had only been at Fort Bragg since June of 2019. She enlisted in October 2018 and completed her training at Fort Sil, Oklahoma and Fort Benning, Georgia.
Her mother, Mary Jenks, said, “She’s a risk-taker. She’s an adventure seeker, so she felt like this would be a good fit for her.”
According to CBS17, Mary had seen her daughter's post preparing for the jump. When she asked her later in the day how it went, she did not receive a response.
“I’ve had so much support from the Army, and they’ve really taken really good care of me. I’m grieving myself, but I’m also grieving for other people who ever knew her because they’re hurting as well.”Mary Jenks
According to Fox News, Jenks had also received many honors such as the Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and the Army Parachutist Badge. She will posthumously receive the Meritorious Service Medal.
Jenks was undoubtedly full of ambition. Unfortunately, her promising career was cut short by an accident. Hopefully, the Army's investigation will bring closure for her family and friends.