Staying Local

The down side of traveling away from Ft. Bragg constantly throughout the demonstration season is that the team does not get to perform for the local community that often.  Fortunately for the Gold Demonstration Team two performances came up inside of a week.  The Baldwin Elementary School was conducting their Outside Activities Day and gave the Knights a chance to give the students a thrill of a life time.  The jump was conducted in the early morning to kick off the day of fun and games for the students and faculty then was followed by the Jumpers being greeted by the students and allowing them to help pack their parachutes.  The demonstration was over early but then it was back to work to prepare for the next Jump in a couple of days.

The following local show was for the opening of the Raeford Mud Run held at the Wide Open MX Park.  It was another early day for the Gold Team as they prepare for the jump.  As the sun rose over the horizon the Golden Knights distinctively painted Twin Otter took off from Pope AAF.  The conditions were just right, clear skies and light winds just as forecasted.  The timeline was narrow for the team so as to not interfere with the runners but still went off without a hitch.  After the demonstration the jumpers were welcomed into the start area by the race coordinator and the team presented her with a Golden Knight Litho.  Some of the runners also had a chance to pose with the team before they started their muddy 10K race.  All together these local performances are sometimes the much needed break from the constant cross country traveling but most of all it is a way for the Golden Knights to say thank you to a very supportive community.

Texas Gives a Big Country Welcome to Gold Team

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.

2012 Hope Mills Youth Baseball Opening

The Golden Knights travel in excess of 200 days out of the year to various towns through out our country so when we get a unique opportunity to perform at home it’s a great feeling to give back to our local community.  This year Gold Team was honored by jumping into the 2012 Hope Mills Youth Baseball Opening ceremonies.  The Team exited out C-31 Fokker aircraft at 10’000 feet on Saturday morning before 1500 young baseball and softball children.  SPC Trey Martin was our narrator for this morning’s mass exit show and performed it with grace and candor according to the crowd members of Hope Mills.

Upon landing at the ball park the Team proceeded to our lineup area where we were able to sign brochures and answer questions about the life as a Golden Knight.  Many of the kids and adults lined up to ask various question such as “how cold does it get at 10’000 feet?”  On the Team we love answering these questions and expressing the gratitude and thanks to our American Public.  Many of the children that were in attendance on Saturday’s performance have  a mother or father that are serving in the U.S. Army and it’s a great feeling to show the young children some of the capabilities and excitement of today’s modern airborne paratrooper!




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