We are always honored to connect the Amercian people to America’s Army. Today we were privideged to spend time with some amazing children and their familes at the Children’s Hospital in Columbia, MO.
Shortly after arriving in town we went to the stadium to survey for tomorrow evening’s jump into the University of Missouri vs. Syracuse football game. Immediately following the visit to the stadium the team was proud to be a part of a heartwarming visit to the Children’s Hospital.
It is always a pleasant surprise to be welcomed with a host of smiles. We visited several rooms of children ranging from two yearls old to late teens. Their diagnosis’ varied from broken bones, to several rounds of chemotherapy and fighting cancer. Many were excited to find out that they would be able to see tomorrow night’s pyrotechnic jump from the Children’s Hospital!
The visit, which included passing out stickers, pins, brochures, and also performing gear demonstrations, was very moving. A couple of the children were even celebrating their opportunity to go home shortly after we finished our visit! Congratulations to those going home this evening and our thoughts will stay with those still in the great care of the Children’s Hospital.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars hosted the 2012 Miami Beach Veteran’s Day Parade at Flamingo Park. Black Team was given the chance to perform the first parachute demonstration into this South Beach event. The Team was also afforded another very unique opportunity to put this event in the record books by jumping in the US Honor Flag. The US Honor Flag, which is registered national treasure to commemorate the events at ground zero on September 11, 2001, was flown in by SGT Jonathan Lopez.
The US Honor Flag pays tribute to those who have lost their lives in the line of duty, while protecting our lives, homes and country. It also represents those who currently serve to protect our communities and nation. This flag has traveled more miles than any other US flag in American history and has a very distinguished past. You can discover the Honor Flag’s full story at www.ushonorflag.org.
Black Team had to overcome some of the tricky wind conditions of South Beach. Each of the jumpers landed safely and accurately, showing the product of quality training and discipline. The same quality shared across America’s Army. Our demonstrators landed to the cheers and applause of the very excited parade goers filling the stands. Concluding the Team’s performance was the ceremonial exchange of the Honor Flag back to the Miami Beach Police Department’s Honor Guard.
On Thursday, the 1st of November, Black Team departed for their final air show loop, for the 2012 season. Although there are still more events, this was our final “air show.” This is a relatively unique opportunity for the Golden Knights, as well. Homestead is the winter home of the U.S. Army Parachute Team’s Demonstration and Tandem sections. Homestead ARB opens their doors and hospitality to us at the start of each season, so we were delighted to return and close out the final air show at their doorsteps.
To kick off the weekend, Black Team jumped into Sun Life Stadium for Thursday’s University of Miami vs. Virginia Tech football game. Friday’s Media performances consisted of both, opening the show and also, closing out the evening with a night pyro jump, from 12,500 feet.
Saturday and Sunday’s shows allowed Black Team to show its potential with perfect weather and light winds. Exiting from 2 ½ miles above southern Florida, the Team performed a free fall formation each day, with Canopy Relative Work. Landing on the center of the 10ft x 10 orange “X,” we couldn’t have asked for a better way to close out our final air show.
We were delighted to support the local Army recruiters, as well as visit other community members, who have continuously welcomed the Parachute Team with open arms. With the proud military support in Homestead, Florida, we will always continue looking forward to our next visit.