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Skydiving event honors disabled veteran

Marine Corps veteran David Noblit was originally scheduled to join the group; instead, the event has held in his honor.

ELYSBURG, Pa. — Making the final descent into Ralpho Community Township Park after skydiving from 5,000 feet above, five members of the All Veteran Parachute Team were thinking about David Noblit, an Elysburg Veteran who lost both of his legs while serving for the Marine Corps in Afghanistan.

"The most important thing for me is when I can salute our veterans," said Michael Elliot, President of the All Veteran Parachute Team. "When I'm coming down, and I've done this over and over again, but I'm nervous because there are performance anxieties. I wanna walk up to our brothers like Dave, and salute him and tell him thanks. Because we as veterans, we understand each other." 

A crowd of more than 100 people came out to welcome the team back to the ground.

Noblit had intended to skydive alongside the team, completing his first tandem jump with the group's president Michael Elliot.  

Elliot said the safety vest ordered for Noblit wasn't up to legal safety codes.  

Instead, the skydivers completed the jump in his honor and presented him with a flag.

"I think one word to describe how I felt is pride," said Noblit. "We do live in the greatest nation in the world."

But Noblit still isn't giving up his dream of skydiving. 

The All Veteran Parachute team has already vowed to spend next Labor Day weekend here in Elysburg when Noblit will complete an even bigger and more impressive jump.

"We're gonna come back next year, and bring him up, and throw him out of an airplane at 14,000 feet and land right back here for you in hopefully a much bigger mask-free crowd," said Elliot. 

As far as landing right here in Ralpho Township Community park after his first tandem jump next Labor day, Noblit tells us he's most looking forward to doing it alongside a fellow veteran.

"If you haven't been in the boots, it's just something you won't understand it, it's a brotherhood like no other. I definitely miss it, I was blown up in 2010, so since then I've definitely been looking for that brotherhood again," added Noblitt. 

Credit: WNEP