On Saturday, dozens of active-duty and retired military personnel parachuted onto the Virginia Beach Oceanfront after leaping from an airplane at great heights.
Veterans and active duty military personnel were given free access to the thrill at Skydive Suffolk’s inaugural “Land in the Sand” Veterans Day event thanks to partnerships with numerous charitable organizations. United Service Organizations, the Naval Special Operations Foundation, Operation Enduring Warrior, Veterans United, and Arne Aviation were among the nonprofits that sponsored tandem jumps. The first Veterans Day event Skydive Suffolk has sponsored is this year, according to Mike Manthey, who co-owns the business with his wife Laura. 40 to 50 veterans and service men were to be given jumps, and they loaded the plane at the Military Aviation Museum’s airfield, which was about 25 minutes away from where they had landed. Jamie Curtis, a 28-year-old former soldier, made his first skydive while a non-military person. He works for Operation Enduring Warrior as the assistant program manager for the skydiving program. Nick Fields, a current Army soldier, was also invited to the event on Saturday by the former paratrooper. Curtis claimed that as soon as the plane’s door opened, he was brought back to Fields’ experience of sharing a seat behind gunners while on duty in Turkey.