BUTLER, Mo. — Butler, Missouri, is home to Skydive KC, who hosted the U.S. Army recently for a unique opportunity.
The Golden Knights' parachuting team, based out of Fort Bragg, came to Missouri and invited first responders, educators and other community leaders for the chance to do what they do - parachute out of an airplane.
“There are no words that can explain what we’re about to do,” said Christopher Acevedo, nicknamed “Ace,” as the Golden Knights suited up in Butler. “It’s the ultimate freedom, I guess, if I were to put it any way."
Community leaders prepared for the opportunity of a lifetime, including Janelle Porter, North Kansas City School District's director of student services.
“It’ll be nice to have just a day where I’m not thinking all about that for one second,” she said.
She, alongside her fellow educators, is going through a difficult time during the pandemic. To unwind, she jumped out of a plane, two-and-a-half miles above the ground.
“I was anxious about jumping out of a plane, it’s a perfectly good plane, I don’t know why I’d leave it,” Porter said before she left that plane, at 120 miles per hour, with her tandem jumper. “It’ll be nice to do something different I’ve never done before and enjoy it."
The Golden Knights give participants a new perspective from above.
“Throughout my entire career, I’ve dealt with getting people through stressful situations, from rappelling off towers to jumping out of airplanes,” Acevedo said.
One of the people parachuting was Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas.
“It’s not only freeing, but it allows us to recognize those who help keep our society going each day. First of all, the people who keep us safe serving our country here and around the world. That’s why I thank our soldiers with us today. We have folks from all walks of life, and I’m honored to be with them,” Lucas said.
Mayor Lucas got his temperature checked, took a quick class, suited up and boarded the plane for another freeing free fall, in tandem.
“This mission is to show all of us working together are what builds a great community, a great region for Kansas City,” Lucas said.
For one stress-free day - the Army took community leaders into the sky and back to Earth.
“The best ride in the world...grew up liking roller coasters, but this was even better,” Lucas said after his jump.
“Especially at a time like this, it’s awesome to see people relax and calm down," Acevedo added.