George H. W. Bush, the nation's 41st president, celebrated his 90th birthday today by doing what any normal 90 year old does - jumping out of a perfectly good helicopter. Former President Bush made the jump near his coastal home in Maine, according to a
in northjersey.com. The first George Bush, as he is often called colloquially, made the parachute jump with the Army's famed parachute team, the Golden Knights. You can see the video here:
[Image via YouTube/National Review]
This isn't George Bush's first parachute jump, by a long shot. The former president was the youngest naval aviator in World War II and underwent extensive parachute training in preparation for his service. His training went to good use.
As Lieut. Jr. Grade George H.W. Bush on august 1, 1944, at the age of 20, the former president was a dive bomber pilot piloting a Grumman TBM Avenger on a mission to destroy a Japanese installation on the island of Chihijima. During the attack, LJG George Bush's aircraft took heavy anti-aircraft fire. Bush completed the mission and bomber the installation with his engine on fire before heading out to sea, where he parachuted and was rescued by the submarine USS Finback. Unfortunately, there's no YouTube footage of that jump readily available.
The Elder George Bush also jumped with the Golden Knights to celebrate his 80th birthday. There was considerably less media fanfare for that jump, which surprised some near the Bush Memorial Library near the Texas A&M campus, where the jump took place. Check out this video of George Bush's 80-year birthday parachute jump:
[Video via YouTube/our World]
During the latest jump, the 90 year old George Bush was attached by harness to Sergeant First Class Mike Elliot of the Golden Knights. The jump took place from a relatively stable platform - a helicopter hovering roughly 6,000 feet above the ground. SFC Elliot was also involved in the former president's 80th birthday celebratory parachute jump.
North Jersey quotes SFC Elliot saying this of former President George Bush's 90th birthday parachute jump:
"That's what he wanted for his 90th birthday and that's what he got. It's a very good feeling to be involved and be able to turn back time. He's probably feeling younger now than ever."
The circumstances of the two Bush birthday parachute jumps were undoubtedly more pleasant than his first parachute jump over the Pacific Ocean.
What do you think? Will the elder former President Bush be around to try another parachute jump again for his 100th birthday?