Papa has put in his retirement papers, and if they are approved, he will be out of the Army on September 1st. This past Friday was his last scheduled jump before then (most likely), so we headed down to watch Papa jump out of an airplane. How many kids can actually say they have seen their Papa parachute out of an airplane, right? It was awesome! Believe it or not, somehow it was my FIRST time seeing my dad jump, too. I guess all of his other jumps he did when I lived at home were during school hours or in the middle of the night. I think I was more excited than the kids, and they were really excited.
They started out by doing these practice drills on the ground, which, to me, look a little like some sort of religious ritual.
Then they practice jumping off of this platform and rolling to the ground in the dirt. Andrew thought this was awesome, and when the soldiers were done, he wanted to do this with Papa over and over again.
The soldiers also practice jumping out of the back of a plane shell on the ground, which the boys had fun trying out.
Ryan had fun playing pretend inside the plane, too. But it took him awhile to warm up, because there were so many other kids playing inside the plane, too.
Papa was in the 10th group of paratroopers to jump. We waited a long time, but it was worth it.
Here is the plane.
And here is Papa, the parachute that is highest in the air.
The kids were real troopers. We arrived at 12:30pm and left at 5:00pm. It was 94 degrees outside. I lost count how many times I filled their water bottles. They were covered with red sand from head to toe, sweaty, and HAPPY.
(If you are wondering where Molly was at, she was on my back most of the time or in the shade hanging out with her Aunt Rachel. So no pics of Miss Molly, but she was there and covered with sand and sweaty and happy, even though she boycotted her afternoon nap).