Today 93 year old Jim “Pee Wee” Martin recreated a jump he made 70 years ago during the Normandy invasion. Asked if it was different this time he responded, “Oh Yeah, nobody was shooting at me. It was much nicer.”
Meanwhile, at 89 years old, a relatively young and spry Bernard Jordan was denied permission by his caregivers to attend the 70th anniversary celebrations in Normandy. Undeterred, he donned his raincoat, put his medals on underneath it and proved he still knew how to maintain operational secrecy by sneaking out of the facility undetected.
After a major search he was found in Normandy having a lovely time with many younger veterans who promised to bring him back safely once the festivities conclude. I am not sure what possessed the staff at the facility to think that they could bully a man who had stormed the beaches at Normandy, but needless to say, they had their noses rubbed in their folly.
We owe these men a huge debt of gratitude for their sacrifices and it is nice to see them still out giving the world hell.
I am not nearly as old, or as brave, as these men, but I always thought reaching such an advanced age would give you a certain freedom. When you are a young man and jump out of plane you are risking an entire lifetime and possibly leaving children behind to fend for themselves. But when you are 93? Are you risking weeks? Months? Minutes? If the last thing you do is fly through the air one last time then that isn’t such a bad way to go. I would be telling the gentleman who accompanied me that he is the only one with anything thing to lose just because I would know what a badass quote it would be for a man’s last words.
I also plan to act like my mind is gone well before it is just because I can. For those of you who read this blog you may have thoughts that the plan is already in the early stages of implementation. I denounce you for that. Now excuse me, I having to go wrestle a bear.