D-Day Veteran Celebrates His 100th Birthday By Going Skydiving

Birthdays are a big deal, especially the older you get. Those milestones become more and more precious and they definitely deserve to be marked.

The older we get, the more tamed these celebrations become. But not for one man, a WWII veteran, who chose to mark his 100th birthday with the biggest adrenaline rush yet: Skydiving over his hometown of Coronado, California.

Tom Rice might have turned 100, but he clearly wasn’t going to let age slow him down as he made the commemorative birthday jump from 7,500 feet before landing on the beach right in front of the local landmark, the Hotel Del Coronado.

Photo: Max Pixel

Speaking about his experience in the interview below, Rice stated, “We do a lot maneuvering up there. That was a lot of fun.”

While Rice may be 100, he was certainly no stranger to skydiving. In fact, he was one of the paratroopers in the 101st Airborne Division who made the historic landing on the coast of France in 1944 on D-Day.

Photo: U.S. National Archives & DVIDS

While it may have been over 70 years ago, Rice can still remember it fresh in his mind.

He said of his D-Day jump, “I tried to get out of the harness and couldn’t do it, so we opened up my double zipper here and took out my switchblade knife and started cutting through.”

It is an experience that has shaped his life, and since then, the veteran has gone on to recreate the jump several times throughout his life. He admitted that the excitement from his birthday jump is one that will stick with him for several months.

Photo: YouTube/Times of San Diego
Photo: YouTube/Times of San Diego

Just because he’s 100 he doesn’t plan on hanging up his parachute just yet. He’s already planning for his 101st birthday to jump again – and this time from a higher altitude.

“We’ll go to 13,000 feet this time,” he stated.

Hundreds of people, as well as military members, turned out to support the veteran on his birthday skydive. Of course, hitting such a ripe old age must come with a secret, and for Rice, he says that the secret to his longevity has been exercise.

Photo: YouTube/Times of San Diego

Rice partakes in CrossFit twice a week. In fact, that is how he was able to prepare for his big birthday jump. Here’s hoping he makes it to 13,000 feet next year!

Watch the amazing jump below:

What do you think of this veteran? Would you go skydiving at 100 years old? Let us know!

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