Sky-diving a hard habit to break for veteran parachute team
Posted July 4, 2013
Updated July 5, 2013
Fayetteville, N.C. — As a former member of the U.S. Army’s Golden Knights parachute team, Mike Elliot has done it all. He’s even parachuted from an airplane while strapped to a former president.
When he retired after 26 years in the Army, he found himself restless to do more.
“I want to continue to serve, continue to do this,” he said. “I’m retired, but I have great skill sets. I’m at the top of my game.”
Elliot, of Fayetteville, created his own parachute team, called the All Veterans Parachute Team, as his way of letting former military men and women continue to use the skills America taught them.
“We’re all combat veterans,” Elliot said of the team.
Team members made a jump in Holly Springs last week, dropping in to give the keys of a new home to a wounded war hero.
“It’s amazing,” Elliot said. “You feel such patriotism. The chill bumps, the hair on o the back of your neck. You look down and you have this tight area, and people around are watching you.”
Team member Tony Mouzon has jumped out of airplanes more than 9,000 times. But he’s no thrill-seeker. Mouzon said he finds the death-defying activity “relaxing.” Veteran parachute jumpers still finding way to serve
“I started jumping in the military, and I enjoy being around people, so I continue to do it,” said Mouzon, who retired from the Army in 2005.
Mouzon said the All Veterans Parachute Team is happy to help out any way it can.
It’s a sentiment echoed by Elliot.
“The military is going to continue to serve, continue to protect our freedom. And veterans are going to continue to serve as well,” he said. “That’s what we’re doing.”