Veteran gets Father’s Day skydiving surprise

(Provided Photo/WLFI)

FRANKFORT, Ind. (WLFI) — An 83-year-old Indianapolis man was given an unexpected gift for Father’s Day — he got to go skydiving.

But this wasn’t his first time jumping out of a airplane. In fact, he’s done it hundreds of times.

“It means so much to me to know that he’s very happy to be doing this; this is one of the things he wanted to do again,” said Indianapolis resident Kimberly Dove.

Jim Diggle, 83, is no stranger to jumping out of airplanes. He served in the Korean War with the 82nd Airborne Rangers.

Over his lifetime, he’s made 887 jumps.

“Skydiving is something that, as you start out, you become more accustomed to it,” said Diggle. “As you go along, it’s just a whole lot of fun.”

The last time Diggle jumped out of an airplane was 1976.

His daughter Kimberly Dove said after all those years, one of his bucket list wishes was to get back into the sky again, so she made it a reality.

“He’s had some health issues come up recently,” said Dove. “This is just one of the things that he really, really wants to do. It’s at the very tippy-top of his bucket list, and he’s very excited about doing it.”

Diggle said this jump holds a special meaning because he’s doing it with some of his closest family members.

“Doing it with my family, I think it was probably one of the most touching things I’ve had happen in many years,” Diggle said.

On Sunday, they made the trip to Skydive Indianapolis in Frankfort to fulfill his dream.

Dove said there was plenty of chatter during the car ride up.

“Chit-chatting all the way and watching the clouds hoping that ‘Oh my goodness it looks a little dark is it going to be all right?’, and you know dad’s just like, ‘Yeah, yeah, everything’s fine,'” said Dove.

The weather didn’t play in their favor at first, but after a couple hours’ delay, it was time to suit up and take off.

Just like that, Diggle can check another thing off his bucket list.

“Only thing I can say is that these parachutes are a whole lot better than they used to be,” Diggle said.

When asked whether he wants to jump again in the future, Diggle said he’d love to.

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