World War II veteran celebrates 90th birthday by skydiving

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FRANKFORT, Ind. (April 24, 2016) – A Frankfort man celebrated his 90th birthday by jumping out of a plane at 13,000 feet at Skydive Indianapolis Saturday.

Robert Curtis was a radio operator during World War II and spent a lot of time on planes, but the veteran says he never had to jumped out of one.

“I’ve always wanted to skydive, but I thought I’d wait until I was old enough, until I was 90,” said Curtis.

Although it was his first jump, it wasn’t his first time at Skydive Indianapolis. He had come to watch the skydivers on numerous occasions, and had even gone up in the plane as an observer.

“I have a lot of confidence in those guys, I’ve watched them over and over again,” said Curtis.

This milestone jump and birthday are bittersweet for Curtis, because he planned to do it with his older brother, but he sadly passed away the Monday before.

“This man is an inspiration. There’s his ageless sense of adventure, but there’s also his determination to follow this dream amidst personal sorrow… Naturally, our instructors made sure he was safe, and that he had an experience of a lifetime.” said Skydive Indianapolis owner, Bob Dougherty.

Even with decades of waiting and an emotional week, Curtis was not nervous.

“I made up my mind. I’m going to do it. I’m not going to balk.” said Curtis. “I figured, if George Bush could do it, I could.”

After his jump, Curtis said “I loved it.”

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