90-Year-Old Woman Goes Skydiving For Her Birthday
Margaret Kirkpatrick is a mother of three children and a grandmother of six; to celebrate her 90th birthday she decided to jump out of an airplane at 14,000 feet.
The skydive was organized by the All Veteran Parachute Team and took place at Raeford Airport. Before Margaret took to the skies she undertook a pre-jump briefing. She had previously seen all of her children make the skydive jump in the past.
Margaret first served with the US Cadet Nurse Corps toward the end of World War II when she was just eighteen years old. Rather than being deployed to Europe, she remained in the US and was tasked with providing medical treatment to the returning troops.
Margaret recalls how they did not have any kind of anesthetic except for ether gas, and that they did not even have penicillin. She even recalls that instruments they were using would get washed and used over and over again because there were so many patients and so little equipment.
Mike Elliot, who is the president of the All Veteran Parachute Group and has been with the US Army for more than twenty-six years, joined Jeannette for the jump.
When the pair came into the landing area Jeannette said that she did not think she put her legs in the right position. But she loved the experience, and when asked if she would like to do it again she said that she might just do that.
Margaret’s grandchildren said they would have to come up with something really special for her 100th birthday in 10 years’ time.
Margaret ’s grandchildren helped her to look good, including putting make-up on before the jump, so that she would be ready for photographers and waiting for TV crews.
The Air force veteran says it is something he has wanted to do for more than sixty years.
Margaret said that she had survived 90 years of living, so believed she could handle doing a skydive. She commented that she had a lot of friends watching, so if she was to die she had been happy doing the skydive anyway. "I just hope I might have set a little example for people enjoying life and do what you want to do,"
Margaret says she was not scared but did find it a bit cold up there. He also says he had considered doing it again!
After she was safely on the ground, people described her experience in the following way, “It was marvelous. It was beautiful.”