Dayton Air Show and the Army's Golden Knights
Dayton, Ohio--Year after year the Dayton Air Show is full of high-flying excitement. This year 9 News got an exclusive inside look at what many consider the most exciting moment of the show.
9 News wanted to get a little closer than normally allowed to some of the most well-trained skydivers the armed forces has to offer."You get to still serve your country in a way but at the same time enjoy it," said Sgt. George Perez.Perez is a member of the Golden Knights, United States Army skydivers that showcase their skills at air shows around the country.
Before every jump the group of men practice, and practice some more.
As the plane lifts off the ground, rituals vary to say the least.
Some soldiers make a quick call home while others get pumped up by throwing punches in the air.A few minutes later at 12,500 feet, jumpers leap into the air and start the show.
"It's like a real good freedom you know. Once you step out of that aircraft, you're just you and the sky," Perez said.Back on the ground we caught up with Perez because he never left it.Perez is an amputee, the one and only on the team.His foot was blown off by an I.E.D. while fighting in Fallujah Iraq in 2003. The more than 30 surgeries has kept him from completing the strenuous training required to jump with his fellow soldiers.
"It's been a little struggle. But hopefully down the road I'll be able to try to go to tryouts and maybe one day make it to jump into a show sight," said Perez.