FORT BRAGG, N.C. --It's that time of year again. Another beautiful day at Nijmegen drop zone where paratroopers filled the skies. In preparation for the 18th Annual Operation Toy Drop, jumpers from different countries came together to participate in the charitable event.
Among those jumpers is Sgt. Adrian Haughton from the 478th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne), located in Miami. Haughton, a civil affairs team sergeant, is also a jumpmaster, who participated in the helicopter jump on Dec. 3, 2015.
Jumpmasters develop a unique solidarity among each other.
"Building relations with some of the reoccurring foreign jumpmasters," said Haughton, "really motivates me."
Haughton added that camaraderie is one of the many reasons he comes back each year.
This is Haughton's second Toy Drop. He has obtained three partner nation jump wings thus far. "Italy, Columbia, and now Dutch," he said excitedly.
In his free time, Haughton substitutes the adrenaline of jumping out of planes with racing his Mazdaspeed 3 in the streets of Miami. Haughton also excels in the classroom.He is set to graduate soon from Florida International University. His major is International Relations. This combination of academics and paratrooper duties ties his civilian and military life together making him a stellar example of a Citizen Soldier.
On the same chalk, Canadian Capt. Andrew Straatsma earned his Dutch jump wings. He is with the Canadian Army Advanced Warfare Center. This is his first time participating in Operation Toy Drop.
"Not only is this my first Operation Toy Drop, but it's also my first time jumping in the U.S.," said Straatsma.
Haughton and Straatsma joined fellow jumpmasters from all over United States Army Civil Affairs & Psychological Operations Command (Airborne) to support paratroopers from around the world, to earn partner nation jump wings, and support the community cause, by donating toys to children in need.
The 18th Annual Operation Toy Drop is hosted by USACAPOC (A). Helping children is the focus of Operation Toy Drop. It allows Soldiers the opportunity to help children in need receive toys for the holidays.