Archive for the ‘sky dive’ Category

Let’s Do a Dive for Shifty—and his Brothers

July 22, 2009

You may have recently seen a sentimental email about the June 17 passing of Darrell “Shifty” Powers at age 86.  If not, read about it here on Snopes:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/military/shiftypowers.asp

While Snopes can’t verify the source of the reported encounter, “Shifty,” as he was known, was real, and so was his bravery as he served with Easy Company of the 101st Airborne in the dangerous days and months following his drop on D-Day.

It turns out that skydivers have a perfect opportunity to honor Shifty and his band of brothers. Sunday, August 16, is National Airborne Day, a day annually commemorated by Congress to remember and honor those servicemen who volunteered to earn their jump wings and serve our country as an airborne soldier. (Read my blog about last year’s National Airborne Day here: https://skydiveuspa.wordpress.com/2008/08/13/national-airborne-day/)

So here’s the thought: Let’s honor Shifty—and his band of brothers—with a memorial skydive. Actually with lots of memorial skydives. Why not organize a memorial dive at your DZ that day? You could form an “A” for Airborne, an “E” for Easy Company, or a “101” for the 101st. Or form a star (if large enough, let a veteran fly in the center), and facing each other with joined grips, give thanks to Shifty and all those who set aside their lives, answered their country’s call, and literally saved the world.

So do a dive for Shifty and his band of brothers and let us know how it went. Send your description of the jump and any photos or links to videos to communications@uspa.org. You don’t have to stop there. Nearly every assisted living facility has WW II veterans who would thoroughly enjoy a visit by a bunch of skydivers expressing appreciation for their service. After all, we not only owe them for their service; we also owe them for sowing the seeds for our sport. It was post-war veterans that wanted to continue jumping out of airplanes who began what became the sport of skydiving.

Rising Through the Recession

July 6, 2009

32,003. That’s the current level of USPA membership at the end of June. What’s the significance? Well, in addition to the fact that membership continues to grow, it’s the first time since May 2005 that we’ve exceeded 32,000. Here’s the full story: USPA membership reached its all-time zenith of 34,583 in August 2001. Then the following month came the attacks of 9/11. Like all of aviation, skydiving suffered for months from a public apprehension and mistrust of all flying. A stalling economy didn’t help either. Membership began a slow but steady decline, going below 32,000 in June 2005 and finally bottoming out in October 2006 at 30,488. Then began a slow but steady climb, and finally back over 32,000 last month. 32,003 is just a number, after all. But it signifies skydiving is holding its own through this recession. And that’s good news for all of us.