“Here’s my story about the power of a dream to save a life. I’m a 2x National Champion Parachutist, Jumpmaster, and Parachute Rigger and I’ve trained hundreds of people to make their first parachute jump.
It was fall, late 1970’s or early 1980’s. My best friend Chipper had set up a training class for some of his friends to make a parachute jump and had asked me to go to the airport with him. Chipper was very special. I had trained him to make his first parachute jump and over the years we made hundreds of jumps together. We were also Vietnam combat vets… a very close bond. So when Chipper asked me to be there, of course I said yes. He wanted me there to make sure his friends received the training they needed to safely make the jumps.
So the day came and Chipper, John, and I, with the group, headed out to the airport. They started the class. I was just in the back watching and listening. The training was ok. At one point I was taking a break in the pilot’s lounge watching a football game on TV. Another jumper I knew walked through and saw me. He stopped, looked at me, and asked what I was doing and why I was not jumping. At that time I had somewhere around 8,000 jumps, and for me to be sitting around watching TV at the DZ (drop zone) was strange, indeed. I didn’t know how to answer exactly. I didn’t want to say I was really scrutinizing another instructor to make sure our friends were going to be safe. So I just said I was hanging out waiting for Chipper’s friends to finish their first jump course. He gave me a strange look and walked on. I pondered the thought myself for a moment. The instructor was certified so I really didn’t need to be there, I thought. But Chipper asked me, so I was there. My friends, let me tell you… the real answer as to why I was there was about to be revealed in a moment that would impact my life and others… forever.
You see, several weeks prior to this day, I had a dream.
In fact I had the exact same dream three times. In the dream I saw myself standing with my hand stretched upward towards a cloudless blue sky. That’s all, nothing else. But I wasn’t thinking about the dream today. The three of us were just hanging out waiting for the class to finish.