Yankees vs Cincinnati game swooped by Golden Knights for Military Appreciation Day

 

 

The Gold Demonstration Team Led By SFC Dustin Peregrin

The Gold Demonstration Team Led By SFC Dustin Peregrin

The Gold Demonstration Team had the amazing opportunity to participate in the New York Yankees Military Appreciation Day. The Yankees paid tribute to the Special Operation Warrior Foundation and United States Armed Forces. During the ceremony, four fallen Soldiers were honored and their children were brought onto the field and presented with scholarship checks for the Special Operation Warrior Foundation.

One of the four fallen Soldiers honored was a former Golden Knight, Gold Team member SFC Pedro Munoz, who was the first U.S. combat death in Afghanistan January 1, 2005. Munoz daughter, Dalia along with the other three Soldiers children were introduced to the individual team members by SFC Dustin Peregrin, Gold Team leader. Dalia was presented a baton by SSG David Echevery and SFC Tom Melton, SSG Mike Koch and SSG Brian Karst presented batons to the family members that had been actually flown in freefall to the stadium by the Soldiers for the presentation.

SSG David Echeverry presenting baton flown in free fall to fallen Gold Team Soldier, SFC Pedro Munoz daughter Dahlia

SSG David Echeverry presenting baton flown in free fall to fallen Gold Team Soldier, SFC Pedro Munoz daughter Dahlia

Starting the game off, Gold Team’s SFC Adrian Hill jumped in an enormous POW flag and narrated the rest of his team as they jumped from 4,500 feet. SSG Brandan Parra flew in the game ball for the ceremonial first pitch, thrown by retired Air Force Colonel John Carney and also flew in the SOCOM (Special Operations Command) flag. The team jumped several more flags to include the New York State flag,Puerto Rico flag, in honor of SFC Munoz, and SSG Sherri Gallagher jumped in a Derek Jeter #2 Yankees flag. The Jeter flag was flown in honor of his up and coming retirement, as this is his final season with the New York Yankees after 20 years, 14 All-Star appearances and 5 World Championships.

Once all the jumpers were safely on the ground, the National Anthem was played. Country music singer and U.S. Army Ranger, Keni Thomas sang the Anthem. Keni Thomas served as a member of Task Force Ranger as a part of Operation Restore Hope in Somalia and also served in the Battle of Mogadishu.  The New York Yankees were brought good luck by the Knights’ and  now have their first all-time regular season series sweep of Cincinnati. They were victorious playing their final game of a three-game series vs. Cincinnati in the Yankees final Interleague games of the season.

The Golden Knights were honored to participate in Military Appreciation Day, as we recognize the sacrifice made by those before us. To those that have served, are currently serving, and to the families of these brave men and women, we proudly salute you.

SSG Gallagher,  Photos by SSG Reese Pendelton and Donna Dixon

 

Victory Junction

IMG_5855-WGold Demonstration Team was going to start the week off with a jump into one of the Golden Knight’s favorite places, Victory Junction. Victory Junction is a year round camp for children with serious illnesses. Their mission is to provide an enriching, fun-filled environment that serves to empower these amazing kids to be confident and independent at absolutely no cost to the children or their families. The camp has everything from racing and archery, to horse back riding and zip lining. They even have a pool that is temperature controlled to the exact degree for kids with different sensitivities. It is an absolute highlight for the Golden Knights to have the opportunity to jump in and interact with these amazing children and staff at Victory Junction every year.

Unfortunately, the weather did not comply, and Gold Team was not able to jump. The show will be postponed to a later date. Pulling ground duties, SFC JD Berentis (former Gold Team Leader), was fortunate enough to be at Victory Junction for the afternoon. He met with every single camper, answered questions, gave out goodies, and signed autographs. The kids had a great time.

IMG_5940-WGold Team looks forward to future jumps at this amazing facility and especially getting to meet with these fantastic children!

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Abeln Stormes North East Canopy Pilot Leagues 2nd Meet

Swoop   The Golden Knights Canopy Piloting Team was busy this past weekend competing at the 2nd North East Canopy Pilot League meet of the Year. SFC Joe Abeln, SFC Jared Zell and SFC Greg Windmiller arrived at Skydive Crosskeys in Williamston, NJ, on Thursday to get some training jumps in at the newest Canopy Piloting League Pond on the East coast.SFC Windmiller fresh off of a successful shoulder surgery accompanied his team mates to the competition as the Team coach, but was quickly put to work as a Chief Judge when the Original Chief Judge came down with the flu and couldn’t make the trip up from Florida to critique the event.

The safety briefing was early Saturday morning with hopes of getting the first load up by 7:30. A massive thick fog rolled in and kept the anxious competitors grounded for about an hour. Once the fog lifted the competition was on. The day began with the exhilarating Speed event immediately followed by Distance and Zone Accuracy to finish off the meet.The Speed rounds had nearly no wind and after two jumps SFC Abeln took 2nd place, just 3 points behind the Leader Sven Jseppi of the Canadian National Team. SFC Zell was just a few points behind the top 3. The competition had a small break to set up the Distance course and before long round 3 was in the air.

Again SFC Abeln and Jseppi nearly matched scores and once again SFC Abeln took 2nd in Distance while SFC Zell rounded out the top 5. Zone Accuracy finished the meet off and a fairly high Tailwind picked up for the event. A tail wind is great for Speed and Distance but makes Zone Accuracy very difficult to control and stop standing up in a scoring zone.SFC Abeln was the first competitor to go in the pro class and set the bar high with a difficult stand up landing. His score held up to be the top score of the round giving him a 7 point lead over Jseppi with one round left to go. The winds picked up even higher for the final round making it very difficult for most competitors to stop in a positive scoring zone. Once again SFC Abeln matched scores with Jseppi giving SFC Abeln a 1st place finish in Zone Accuracy and hanging on for the overall 1st place spot.

SFC Zell finished in the 6th spot overall. Skydive Crosskeys, league director Brad Moon and all the judges did an amazing job of making the competition a very safe and successful meet. The Next meet for the Golden Knights canopy piloting team will be back at Skydive Crosskeys just outside of Philadelphia on August 9th. Please stop by and check out the action if you’re in the area.

 

Congratulations to SFC Joe Abeln  and SFC Zell for such outstanding performances representing the US Army Parachute Team Canopy Piloting Section.

 

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