Friday, October 9, 2009

U.S. Army Golden Knights "Drop In" on Massanutten Academy

Living in a small town has its charms, not least of which is that you often hear about special events going on in town via the grape vine. Like last month. A teacher at Massanutten Military Academy who goes to our parish called to let us know the Army's Golden Knights parachute team would be visiting the school and the community was invited. It sounded fun so off we went at the last minute to sit in the stands and watch the show.

It started with the man on the ground marking the drop spot with a big X. All of the parachutists were within a few feet of the X. We watched the plane circle a few times and then the first parachutist dropped and we could see the smoke marking his path. Soon they were all in the air.

One paratrooper, a woman, unfurled the American flag during her descent. The last two connected up inflight for a tandem descent. They detached just before landing.

The students had a chance at the end to help the paratroopers repack their chutes and ask questions. The team was doing a drop later that evening at the Shenandoah County Fair. I happened to be taking a walk and saw them in the air again later. What fun! They said when they drop at night, they use flares and it's really spectacular. I'd love to see that.

The Golden Knights began in 1959 and are celebrating their 50th anniversary. Hit the hotlink in the first paragraph to visit their website.

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