90-Year-Old Purple Heart Recipient Vet Accomplishes Lifelong Dream of Skydiving for Birthday Celebration

by Halle Ames

If you are trying to brighten your day, look no further. This 90-year-old Purple Heart recipient veteran finally accomplished his lifelong dream of skydiving to celebrate his birthday.

On Saturday, Joseph Dale Jaramillo, a Korean War veteran, and Purple Heart recipient, got to have his dream become a reality. The vet was able to complete his first skydive to celebrate a massive milestone, his 90th birthday.

Jaramillo, who lives in Salt Lake City, says that he has spent his whole life watching others carry out his dream at Skydive Utah. So when his time came, he could barely contain his excitement.

“I’m so excited to jump,” Jaramillo said to Fox 13.

Why has the vet not been able to jump until recently? His lightweight. Jaramillo reveals that he wanted to join the Army’s 101st Airborne Division, but he didn’t weigh enough at the time. Still, the man fought overseas for his country and bravely saved other men even when he was injured, reports Fox News.

“I couldn’t hardly move my arm,” Jaramillo said of his injury that led to his Purple Heart. “Even after all that, I still saved a guy.”

Prior to the jump, the vet joked about how he will act while falling nearly 14,000 feet out of the sky for his tandem jump.

“I’m going to holler all the way down,” he laughed.

Upon safely touching the ground, the older man declared that this would not be his last jump from an airplane. In five years, when Jaramillo turns 95, he hopes to skydive again.

“I want to do it all over again!” he said with a smile and a thumbs up.

The service, called Skydive Utah, notes that it generally gets at least one person every week over the age of 80 that wishes to skydive.

Skydiving to Pay Tribute

Earlier this week, Jenna Bush paid tribute to her late grandfather and former President of the United States, George H.W. Bush, by jumping out of an airplane as well.

On Thursday, Jenna Bush took to the sky to make her grand entrance into the Today show. She jumped from an airplane at 10,000 feet, plummeting toward the ground at speeds over 120 mph.

Jenna jumped to honor her grandfather’s tradition of skydiving on his birthday. George H.W. Bush jumped out of an airplane for his 75th, 80th, 85th, and even his 90th birthdays by skydiving with the help of the Golden Knights.

Jenna Bush followed a similar strategy by requesting the skilled Army parachute team to accompany her as well. She says the experience was unlike anything she has ever done.

“It feels like floating, but it’s one of the most exhilarating, terrifying moments of your life. I feel close to all the people I’ve been missing.” She added that “the view from up here is spectacular” and said she would “do it again a thousand times.”