Friday, May 18, 2012

Jumping Jehoshaphats!

By Obie Oakley

Recently, I had the opportunity to spend the day with the Army’s elite skydiving team, the Golden Knights, which culminated in my making a jump with them.

Although it was not on my “bucket list” and I really was not even thinking of something like this, but because of my involvement in the community supporting our military, I, along with 8 others, was invited down to the Golden Knights training facility which is about 30 miles from Ft. Bragg as their guest. Without hesitation I said “Hell Yes”.

One thing that totally impressed me was the professionalism of these young men and women. They are the Best of the Best, no question about it.

Each jumper was assigned an instructor with whom we would tandem. In addition, each of us had a photographer to record our experience in both video and still photography. All this was mounted on his helmet and was operated completely hands free.

From an altitude of 14.000’ our free fall lasted about 55 seconds at 120 mph and another couple of minutes after the parachute was deployed. It was almost a surreal or out-of-body experience. Although I had made many static line jumps during my time with the 20th Special Forces Group 45 years ago, never anything like this.

I truly feel fortunate to have had this once in a lifetime experience. Thank you for allowing me to share it with you.


(You can share the ACTUAL jump with Obie by clicking HERE!
What a trip!
Great job Obie!   -Ed)