Friday, June 12, 2009

Jumping From The Sky

Today the news is full of the story of former President George H.W. Bush doing another sky dive with the Golden Knights to celebrate his 85th birthday. It's amazing that he is in such great shape that he can do this. He definitely shows a zest for life!
Watching the footage and listening to people talk about it today while I've been quilting reminded me of someone else who experienced the thrill and honor of jumping with the Golden Knights.
In 2003, a few months after his 40th birthday, Mike realized a dream and did a tandem jump with the Army's elite parachute team. He happened to be in North Carolina attending a conference or meeting (don't remember now) and was asked the question "anything else we can do for you, Sgt Major?" His reply was , "yes, I'd love to jump with the Golden Knights". And so he did.

Mike said "NO, those aren't overly fat checks; that is called the effects of falling toward Earth at Terminal Velocity from 13,500 feet".

Mike's description of this pic: "Mike thanking Billy for an AWESOME ride. I can not wait to do this again. As one of the videographers so eloquently stated, 'Skydiving is the most fun you can have with your clothes on!' Billy and I opened our parachute at 5,000 feet above the ground and then steered into the landing".

Accompanying this picture when he sent it to me:

"Mom, this is the sign on the back of my harness and all parachutes. I know you can't read it. It basically states "DANGER, parachute systems sometimes fail to operate....." The yellow handle sticking out the top is a knife that my tandem partner could have used to cut me loose if things went that trust or what ?"

I don't know where he gets the nerve to do stuff like this. I get nauseous standing on a chair.


Crispy said...

Now THAT'S a BIG ol' smile on Mike's face LOL. I bet you weren't smiling all that first.


Barb said...

That is awesome Mary, totally, the pictures were wonderful. My son does that, jumps out of planes...and his first jump, the guy who jumped out before him jumped right into his all tangled up in each other...Nathan said the guy was climbing up his legs, it was very scarey but they both landed with no harm....don't like to hear those kinds of things, don't know why they tell me.

Jacquie said...

I agree with Crispy that is the biggest smile I have ever seen on Mike's face. Hopefully, you only knew about it after the fact. I loved Barbara Bush's comment to DH that she was glad he was landing near the church so they didn't have far to take him! Have a great weekend