88-Year-Old Veteran Spends Holiday Skydiving With Son, Grandson
An organization dedicated to crossing bucket list items off seniors' lists helped Fred Lake jump out of a plane on Veterans Day.
On Veterans Day, three generations of a family who all served in the armed services decided to take a giant step out of an airplane, 14,000 feet above the Houston area.
"I was scared as hell, but once I was in, I loved it," Fred Lake said. "I got so much out of it."
Lake is an 88-year-old Army veteran who served in the Korean war and was an advance man for President Gerald Ford. He says he had bugged his son for years that he'd like to skydive one last time.
"There's the saying that when you do this, you're going to be able to stand on your own two feet, and they were right," Lake said.
At first, Lake's son, Fred Jr., a Coast Guard veteran, didn't think he could deliver for his dad.
"I was probably a year out of neck surgery, and my dad came to me, and he asked me, he says, 'So for my birthday, I want to go jump out of an airplane, and I'd like you to go with me,'" Fred Jr. said. "And I'm like ... are you out of your mind?"
Then, he saw a story on the network news about skydiving grandmothers.
"It was this organization that was organizing bucket wishes to the elderly," Fred Jr. said.
He then reached out to the organization's founder.
"We endeavor to help low-income seniors do things on their bucket list so they're not isolated," Webb Weiman, founder of MyJump, said. "When you serve our nation, you climb to the top of the list quick."
Fred Jr. pitched Weiman the idea of three generations jumping together, as the grandson served in the Marine Corps. But there is one caveat — Freddie Lake, veteran number three, is like his dad ... both are averse to high altitudes.
"I pulled my son who was scared to death of heights, like me, and I said, 'Freddie, we're going to jump out of an airplane.' And he's like, 'Dad, I'm not jumping out of an airplane.' I said, 'Oh yes, you are son. Me and you and grandpa are all going to jump out of an airplane.'"
With the help of MyJump, Fred Jr. made it happen. Despite those jitters, they gave an 88-year-old man a gift.
"Just knowing it's something that my grandpa really wanted to do and what he has done, I mean, you know, I guess it's the Marine mentality in me that I've always got to," Freddie Lake said.
Despite a rain delay near Houston, the trio sailed through the sky and landed within minutes.
"I might do that again when I'm 100," Fred Sr. said. "Him and a fourth generation that's coming. I'm 88 now. It's only 12 years."
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