FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Hundreds of Soldiers stationed here gathered in the early morning of December 9 to have an opportunity to participate in the Operation Toy Drop XIX lottery day jump and earn foreign jump wings.
While OTD XIX is a great opportunity for the Soldiers to give to the community during this time of year; it is also a one-of-a-kind training exercise they can take part in and receive training and experience working with the United States' allies.
During the lottery day of OTD, Soldiers will receive a raffle ticket that gives them the opportunity to jump with a foreign jumpmaster.
"This is a great opportunity for these Soldiers to earn their foreign wings all while maintaining their readiness," said Staff Sgt. Chatchai Brunosky, human resources noncommissioned officer, United States Army Civil Affairs & Psychological Operations Command, United States Army Reserve.
"We have Soldiers here who came out yesterday to begin lining up to be a part of this," Brunosky, a Lakewood, Wash., resident said, "and that shows how motivated these Soldiers are to be here and excited they are for this."
Spc. Tyisha Jones, intel analyst, 307th Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 82nd Airborne Division, said prior to being selected to jump she was excited just for the opportunity to be a part of this.
"This will be my first jump at Fort Bragg," said Jones, a Newark, Del., native. "It has been a very long journey for me to get here. My excitement levels are through the roof right now!"
As the hundreds of Soldiers anxiously waited for their raffle ticket to be selected, Jones became more and more nervous her number would not be called.
Brunosky, who has participated in OTD for three years, said he has enjoyed every opportunity has had through participating in the annual exercise.
"I will be sad when I am no longer able to come here and take part in Toy Drop," he said. "It has been an amazing opportunity in my career, and I am so thankful for having been able to participate."
As the raffle ended, Jones' number had still not been called. After a brief headcount, the OTD staff realized every jumper who had showed up for a chance to jump would be guaranteed to jump.
"I'm ecstatic," Jones said. "To be a part of the 82nd [Airborne Division] is inspiring. It's amazing that I'm here and I will be earning my foreign jump wings on my first jump at Fort Bragg!"