The Gold Team was given a big Texas welcome at the Dyess Big Country Air Fest in Abilene Texas. The team was also accompanied by SSG Jared Zell and SSG Jon Ewald from the Tandem Team, as well as SFC Laura Dickmeyer from the Competition Team. All together the team was able to put on a great show for citizens of Abilene. The team completed three jumps while at Dyess AFB, the first was on Friday as a practice which was a mass exit and then two jumps the following day for the show. This was the first time SSG Brian Karst and SSG Kevin Presgraves had a chance to narrate a show for the team and did so with flying colors during the performances on Saturday.
Along with putting on a demonstration the Gold Team’s Recruiting Liaison SSG Shelby Bixler and SFC Laura Dickmeyer visited Cooper High School just before the Air Show. SFC Dickmeyer is an alumnus of Cooper High School and Physics teacher Jim Reeves had a direct impact on SFC Dickmeyer’s skydiving carrier back in 2003 and was elated to have her back in his classroom. 65 High School Juniors listened as SFC Dickmeyer explained education and carrier incentives as well as what is takes to become a member of the Army’s Elite Parachute Team. The principal of Cooper High School accepted a signed lithograph from The Golden Knights to proudly display in their school.
The Gold Team also met some unique individuals during their time in Abilene. Linda Preston is the mother of former Golden Knight Kirk Preston who served on the team until 1984 was greeted by the team and given VIP access during the Air Fest to show thanks for all of her support over the years. Another Golden Knight alumnus was at the show but as a fellow performer. Air Force A-10 Warthog Pilot MAJ John Collier served on the Gold Demonstration Team from 1996-1998 and was given a chance to ride in the Fokker with the Gold Team once again. After the performance some of the Gold Team accompanied MAJ Collier to his aircraft to get a closer look inside of one of the Ari Force’s most famous planes.