Gold Team delivers game ball to Harnett Central High

The Golden Knights delivered a football to the Harnett Central High School Game on last Friday night via our twin otter dehaviland aircraft from over 2’500 feet.  At speeds of 120 mph the game ball was ready for the kick off on time and on point.  The Gold Team had a wonderful time introducing the High School to each of the team mates and speaking to the JROTC about the many different experiences that each of the soldiers have cherished. For one jumper he said that his favorite memory is always the very last jump that he has the honor and privilege of representing more than 500’000 U.S. Army soldiers. Gold Team prepares to end its season with upcoming next week at Kemah Park in Texas.  We all look forward to this jump every year for the opportunity and excitement of the Kemah Boardwalk.

 

Stars, Stripes, and Sun

Well, a little sun that is. Over the weekend Black Demonstration Team arrived in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, and as is typical in southern Florida this time of year, a mix of sun, clouds, wind, and rain arrived as well. Friday evenings jump into Huizenga Park proved as difficult an operation as Black Team has conducted all year, with winds nearing the upper limits of the team’s capabilities. But with Team 6 Aviators at the controls of the C-31 Friendship Aircraft, high anticipation from the jumpers of a combined Black and Gold Team, and a brief lull in the winds, the crowd welcomed the Golden Knights first jumper into the landing area with cheers and applause. It just so happened that jumper was SGT David Echeverry, who is actually from Ft Lauderdale. “It is a privilege to have my family and friends here for this jump. What an honor to be able to represent The United States Army in the city where I grew up”, said SGT Echeverry.

Saturday’s night jump proved to be just as difficult. As the clouds rolled in with the dark of night, Black Team exited the aircraft from just above 7 thousand feet with night pyrotechnics ignited. Gusting winds challenged 8 jumpers to rely on all their skill to land each black and gold canopy on a small stretch of beach barely 100” by 100” wide. With all the precision you’ve come to expect from the Golden Knights, each jumper landed right on target.

Following each jump over the weekend, the team was greeted by Ft Lauderdale’s Mayor Seiler. Following Friday’s jump, the Mayor presented the team with a “Key to the City”, inviting the Golden Knights back to Ft Lauderdale anytime. The team then presented the Mayor and the CEO of the Miami Dolphins, Mike Dee, with 2 footballs which were flown in by the jumpers. Owner Mike Dee then asked SFC Brian Sealing, in a surprise invitation, to “bring the team back down to jump into the Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots game on December 2nd.” SFC Sealing gladly accepted the invitation by simply replying “Deal!”

Golden Knights Seriously Injured in Bicycle Accident

 

SFC Sanborn, Chicago Water and Air Show

7:00 a.m. Sunday, September 9, the Black Demonstration Team Leader SFC  Howard Sanborn and SGT Jonathan Lopez were hit by a car while bicycling along the shoulder of Highway 63 near La Plata, MO.

SGT Jonathan Lopez

 

 

The  two Knights’ were returning to their hotel from a twenty mile ride when a car driven by a 24-year-old Minister, Nathan Worstell crossed over onto the shoulder of the road and hit Sanborn ejecting him across the road. Sanborn’s bike was propelled into Lopez.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Sanborn and Lopez were both transported by Air Evacuation helicopters to University Hospital in Columbia, MO. around 8:00 a.m. Sunday morning.

Lopez was released from the hospital after treatment for numerous contusions, and lacerations requiring over 100 stitches to his face. Lopez returned home to Fort Bragg with his team and is expected to make a complete recovery.

Sanborn is still hospitalized and in serious condition following two operations and will require extensive treatment.

 

SFC Howard Sanborn

Sanborn, who is in extreme athlete, qualified in his age group for triathlon Nationals and has been mentoring Lopez to compete in an upcoming triathlon later this year.

 Howie always helps to encourage others to eat nutritionally well balanced meals and exercise. He is even a Yoga instructor that leads his team mates through invigorating workouts on a regular basis.

SFC Adrian Hill, said “Howie is one of my best friends, he’s everyone’s friend. He is just an awesome guy!” I came to this team because I admire the complete professionalism of this entire team.”

Saturday night the United States Army Parachute Team, Golden Knights Black Demonstration Team jumped at the Truman State University Football game in Kirksville, Mo. and presented the President of the University a baton flown in free fall by the team.

Sunday eight members of the team made a jump for the Kirksville 2012 Air Festival and then spent the rest of the day supporting their team mates.

Sanborn’s zeal and enthusiastic debonair character is infectious and continually is displayed as he builds his team spirit based on mutual respect.

The entire Golden Knight Family are pulling together to support Howie and are praying for a quick recovery.

Thank you for all for the calls and support from our extended family and we will keep you posted as he progresses.

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