SGT Tom Pryjda, a new teammate on the Gold Demonstration Team, interacts with students from the Coral Springs Christian Academy. Connecting America’s Army with the American public is the number one mission of the demonstration teams. The newest team members have daily opportunities to interface with public onlookers. In this photo, SGT Tom Pryjda spent time between training jumps to explain the basic mechanics of our parachute system to the crowd. Each of the students was able to wear the parachute that Golden Knights wear in freefall. The students asked many questions about freefall parachuting and what life is like as a Golden Knight and a U.S. Army Soldier.
Another week of training passes us by, we see yet more astounding improvements from Gold Demonstration Team’s newest members. In particular, narration has gone from dry and boring, to nearly airshow quality. (more…)
Almost 10 months after leaving their new winter training home, the Golden Knights return to Homestead ARB, FL to show the locals the results of the hard work they put in there. The Team was working with the now familiar personnel on the base to put on the Wings Over Homestead Airshow. With high winds and low clouds the first few days, the first two jumps, both tandem missions had to be postponed. Luckily they were able to get both tandem passengers in the air during the weekend jumps, allowing two people, Lynn Martinez from the Channel 7 News, and Laurence Feldman, a Miami Dade School board member, to experience their first minute of freefall. By Friday night, however, the winds had calmed enough to pull off a night jump into the social, complete with pyrotechnics, for each jumper and an impressive “pyro chain” built by Gold Team member SGT Chris Clark.
The Team continued the weekend by opening the show both on Saturday and Sunday, by jumping in the American Flag to the National Anthem, and then performing a tandem jump, and a mass demonstration. Showing many of the capabilities that the Team has to offer. On Saturday, after the jump, the Team was given the great opportunity to meet Rizzy, a little girl who honors military members all over the country by giving them a coin, saluting them, and telling them, as she told the Team, “Thanks for being my Soldier.” This little girl with the huge heart reminds everyone what the military represents and shows all that they are appreciated.
The Airshow was a huge success, and the Team looks forward to returning to Homestead ARB in January to start training the new personnel for the 2011 show season.