90-year-old ex-pres­i­dent makes para­chute jump

The Covington News - - THE WIRE -

KEN­NEB­UNKPORT, Maine (AP) — For­mer Pres­i­dent Ge­orge H.W. Bush cel­e­brated his 90th birth­day on Thurs­day by mak­ing a tan­dem para­chute jump near his sum­mer home in coastal Maine, ful­fill­ing a goal he made five years ago af­ter a sim­i­lar jump even though he can no longer use his legs.

The na­tion’s 41st pres­i­dent jumped from a he­li­copter at about 6,000 feet while har­nessed to re­tired Sgt. 1st Class Mike El­liott, a for­mer mem­ber of the Golden Knights, the Army’s para­chute team. El­liott guided Bush to a safe land­ing on his 85th birth­day.

“That’s what he wanted for his 90th birth­day and that’s what he got,” El­liott said. “It’s a very good feel­ing to be in­volved and be able to turn back time.”

The he­li­copter picked up Bush out­side his Ken­neb­unkport home. His fam­ily trans­ported him from his wheel­chair to the chop­per, singing “Happy Birth­day” be­fore it took off.

Bush floated to the ground un­der a red, white and blue para­chute and landed on the lawn of St. Ann’s Epis­co­pal Church, where sev­eral hun­dred friends and fam­ily had gath­ered.

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