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Father and son make joint airborne jump
ARNEWS ^ | Apr 17, 2006 | Spc. Mike Pryor

Posted on 04/18/2006 3:54:59 PM PDT by SandRat

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (Army News Service, April 17, 2006 ) – When Sgt. Maj. Kenny Gilluly landed from the final parachute jump of his 30-year airborne career, he didn’t have to make the long walk across the drop zone alone.

His son, 1st Lt. Christopher Gilluly, made the jump with him.

Sgt. Maj. Gilluly and 1st Lt. Gilluly made their first – and last – jump together a special one when they parachuted from a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter onto Sicily Drop Zone April 13. The jump was Sgt. Maj. Gilluly’s 131st and Lt. Gilluly’s 11th.

Sgt. Maj. Gilluly, 48, of San Antonio, Texas, is the XVIII Airborne Corps Retention Sergeant Major. He is scheduled to retire from the military in September after 30 years of service, the vast majority of it spent at Fort Bragg in airborne positions.

The sergeant major said he feels it’s time to pass the torch to the next generation of paratroopers, to Soldiers like his son Christopher, 25, a new platoon leader in D Co, 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division.

“I tell people I’m passing on the family business,” he said.

Sgt. Maj. Gilluly’s last goal before retiring was to make a parachute jump with his son. The father and son tried to make the jump happen since learning that Christopher would be stationed at Fort Bragg.

However, a deployment last year to Iraq for Sgt. Maj. Gilluly and one to Afghanistan for Lt. Gilluly made it impossible. As a result, their first jump together also happened to be Sgt. Maj. Gilluly’s last. Although unplanned, both father and son agreed that it was appropriate.

“It’s fitting because it was Dad’s last jump, so this is a good end,” Lt. Gilluly said.

“My career is ending, and his is pretty much just beginning, so this is a good time to do it,” added Sgt. Maj. Gilluly.

The jump was the fulfillment of a long-held ambition for both men. For Lt. Gilluly, it was something he had thought about doing since childhood. He grew up hearing stories of airborne operations and always wanted to take part someday, he said.

“I’d see (my father) coming home with broken legs and a busted butt, and I still volunteered,” he said.

The Sergeant Major said the jump ranked at the top of his all-time favorite jumps.

“It was probably my most memorable jump. Not many people have the opportunity to make a parachute jump with their son,” he said.

Sgt. Maj. Gilluly said he hopes his son’s career will be as rewarding as his has been.

“I hope he finds the same job satisfaction and fulfillment in his career as I found in mine,” he said.

(Editor's note: Spc. Mike Pryor writes for the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Public Affairs Office.)

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; US: North Carolina
KEYWORDS: airborne; father; joint; jump; son
by Spc. Mike Pryor

April 17, 2006

1st Lt. Christopher L. Gilluly, platoon leader, D Company, 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, gets rigged up to make a jump from a UH-60 Black Hawk Helicopter April 16.

1 posted on 04/18/2006 3:55:01 PM PDT by SandRat
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To: 2LT Radix jr; 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub; 80 Square Miles; A Ruckus of Dogs; acad1228; AirForceMom; ..

The Family that Jumps together,..........

2 posted on 04/18/2006 3:55:31 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: SandRat

During my basic airborne class in the summer of 1986, a Black Hat made a comment about students "shutting the fuck up, unless both your mama and your papa were Airborne!"

The guy next to me spoke up.
We all suffered for it :)

3 posted on 04/18/2006 3:58:47 PM PDT by SJSAMPLE
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To: SandRat

What a great story....

All The Way....

4 posted on 04/18/2006 4:38:46 PM PDT by joesnuffy
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To: SandRat


5 posted on 04/19/2006 3:02:16 AM PDT by E.G.C.
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