Cpl. Jessie Kent Fletcher: Double-amputee veteran skydives over Bethesda
NewsChopper 7 caught video of a special jump over Bethesda Wednesday morning.
The skydivers who took the plunge are military veterans. And one of them is a double amputee who showed love for his country as he headed back to earth.
"It's not the disability, it's the ability," says Cpl. Jessie Kent Fletcher who was taking his first skydive. "The feeling of falling was a mind-blowing experience. The view of the capital. That was really profound."
"People say you fall in love," he says. "People say you win the lottery, and you get excited. You have all these amazing events in your life, but jumping out of an airplane in itself. It made me speechless, and I was in the sky."
It has been a tough year for Fletcher, 24. Last year, he was a scout sniper platoon team leader on his second tour of Afghanistan when he lost several fingers and his legs when an improvised explosive device blew up.
"You never recover," Fletcher says. "What you do is you keep your head high."
And his head was high in the sky when he took the jump.
"I really just wanted to show other people in my position there is a lot more you can do even though you have no legs," Fletcher says.
On his way down he could see the monuments and he had the Star-Spangled banner by his side.
Team Fastrax, the skydiving company that takes wounded veterans up in the sky, does it for free. They've been doing it since 2001. And just this year, they've taken up about 50 of them.
"You can't forget about these men and women that went over there and performed and made these sacrifices for us," says John Hart of Team Fastrax. "So we have an obligation as men and women and as fellow countrymen to get out there and let them know. It's to say thanks. It's to let them know you're not forgotten, you're not alone. That America loves you and that's what we do."