Veterans honored at skydiving event

- These aren’t just any thrill-seeking skydivers taking to the clear skies of central Texas. For the 7th year in a row, the Travis County Sheriff’s office has sponsored the annual Leap of Heroes for Wounded Warriors.

Heroes like Staff Sergeant Orlando Gill, who lost his leg in Iraq. The event, which more than 500 children from Irene Mendez Elementary School attend, is a way to honor him and the 14 other jumpers- and provide a relief from the stress and strain of on-going rehab.

They leap tandem with members of Skydive San Marcos from 13,500 feet. The thrilling free fall reaches a speed of 120 miles per hour. At 5,000 feet, the parachutes open. The excitement of the jump was everything Staff Sergeant Gill was hoping for.

“It’s nice and free and relaxing. All the tensions and everything gone. It’s good. It was a good adrenaline rush,” he told reporters. “Good day. Any day is a good day.”

The students who watched from the ground learned about the important work of our service members. The Wounded Warriors shared an experience they’ll never forget.

As one veteran explained, “Today was just a phenomenal day. I didn’t know what quite to to expect, with everything from the kids to being out here. It just makes you feel good about putting your life on the line. That’s why this country’s great. It’s the small things. Thank you.”

The Leap of Heroes is a moving show of a support- and a remarkable way to thank them for their sacrifices and the service they’ve provided for our country. 

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