How Skydiving Changed My Life

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Barry Sinex

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by Barry Sinex | D-31060 | Duluth, Minnesota

When I was 5 years old, I used to have dreams I could fly. If I ran and dove with enough vigor, I would experience a few minutes of flight. In 1969, we moved to Florida. On weekends I saw parachutes, and I was drawn to them just like a moth to a flame. It wasn't long before I was holding tension on the Para-Commander parachutes while the skydivers flaked their canopies. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Brian Doyne

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by Brian Doyne | A-60685 | Fredericksburg, Virginia

To put it simply, skydiving gave me freedom. In February of 2005, I was deployed to Iraq as a member of an explosive ordnance disposal unit. Our job was the neutralization of explosive threats to coalition forces; we’re the guys and girls that stop roadside bombs from hurting folks. It wasn’t always easy, but truth be told, we sure had fun doing it. On February 24, 2005, I was doing a post-blast investigation on a blast site that had injured some American soldiers when three more devices went off. The largest of them was about 20 feet away and had an estimated 20 pounds of explosives in it. Besides hurting like a bunch of words not allowed in print, it did the following: mostly tore both legs off below the knee, screwed up all the tendons and ligaments in both knees, collapsed a lung, blew my left arm off below the elbow, destroyed my left eye, and fractured my skull (and those are just the major injuries). Needless to say, this was a life-altering experience. I’ve stayed positive, though, kept myself active and try to stay in shape, but the truth is—things hurt. All the time. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Shaun Brock

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by Shaun Brock | B-34969 | Altus, Oklahoma

I’m active duty in the Air Force, and I have spent the last 12 years as a loadmaster, planning and calculating proper cargo and passenger arrangements on C-17 transport aircraft. Nine of those years, I worked on air drops. But until a little over a year ago, I was 100-percent a whuffo! I have watched countless numbers of parachutists jump out of my aircraft, and I can’t even count the number of times that I asked, either aloud or just in my head, “Why would anyone ever jump out of a perfectly good aircraft?” more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Tracey Sullivan

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by Tracey Sullivan | B-35331 | Houston, Texas

When someone asks me, “Why?” I tell them that there is so much in life to experience that the greater question is, “Why not?” more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Doug Garr

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by Doug Garr | D-2791 | New York, New York

It was April 12, 1969. I had turned 20 the previous week and found myself hanging from the strut of a Cessna 206. A sort-of-nerdy guy with horn-rimmed glasses who lived down the hall in my dorm had made several skydives. Though I kept oversleeping and exhaling with relief when bad weather scrubbed my planned jumping weekends, I figured if he could do it, I could. Also, as a sophomore journalism major, I thought it was a good story for my college newspaper. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Mike Engel

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by Michael Engel | C-38710 | Middle Island, New York

In June 2000, I lost my brother in a motorcycle accident. Shortly thereafter, my family and I learned that he had made a tandem skydive the year before. We all wondered how he had felt when he made his jump. So the following year, my father paid for a tandem skydive for my youngest brother and me for our birthdays. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Hugh Roderick

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by Hugh Roderick | USPA #149698 | Quincy, Illinois

I’ve always loved everything to do with aviation and have always wanted to be around flying ever since my dad first took me up as a toddler. As a 15-year-old working part-time at a grocery store in South Africa, I started taking flying lessons hoping to follow my dreams of a career in aviation. Shortly after starting lessons, the United States put an oil embargo on South Africa, and flying lessons went from 12 bucks an hour to $48. This put lessons out of reach for me, since I was still going to high school and working a few hours a week. I later saw a film clip on parachuting and thought, “If I can’t fly planes, I could jump out of them and would at least be around aircraft and the smell of avgas.” more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Darryld Light

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by Darryld Light | C-37668 | Miami, Florida

After my early experiences with the skydiving community, I would never have thought I’d get to the 100-jump mark. But I recently made my 5,000th jump at Skydive Perris in California. Being such a significant jump, you would think it would have been a big-way or with an exclusive group, but it was not. It was a 3-way with two relatively low-time jumpers: a local jumper with 80 jumps and a guest to Perris with 300 jumps. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Sofie Geckler

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by Sofie Geckler | C-37668 | Miami, Florida

I must have been 25 years old the first time I was offered a chance to skydive. My boyfriend at the time was a master skydiver and a cinematographer; I was an artist, singer-songwriter, carpenter and horse trainer. I remember telling him, “I will never skydive. You have your passions; I have mine. I do not have to do everything you do. I don’t care if you jump holding someone else’s hand as long as we regroup at the end of the day. Have fun.” Besides that, I was just recovering from getting hit by a car as I was crossing a street, and I still had the trauma of the pain on my mind. more »

How Skydiving Changed My Life - Matt Feeser

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by Matt Feeser | USPA #213775 | York, Pennsylvania

My journey into the sport of skydiving was a little different than most. Like many people, skydiving was something I always said that I wanted to do, but it seemed to be something I just kept talking about rather than doing. Although for me, skydiving is a bit more difficult than for most people. more »