Special Salute: Army parachute team honors health care workers during pandemic

U.S. Army Black Daggers put on parachute demonstration for front line heroes

MIDDLEBURG, Fla. – Three members of the U.S. Army Black Daggers were a sight to see in Middleburg Tuesday morning as they saluted health care workers by jumping from a plane.

At exactly 9 a.m. three members of the elite parachute demonstration team jumped from a plane above Ascension St. Vincent’s Clay. In less than three minutes, all three men were safely on the ground.

More than 100 people watched the thrilling jump meant to salute front line workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I have been here for more than 20 years and this is just a great honor to have,” spectator Kathy Koenig said.

She brought her grandchildren to the hospital where she works to see the jump.

“It’s kind of cool to have this the day after my birthday because I am interested in flying machines and how they work and machines put into action when they work this way. I like seeing them work correctly,” Koenig’s grandson said.

Staff Sgt. Joshua Porter, who has served in the military for 13 years, is a member of the Black Daggers and had his father, grandmother and grandfather at Tuesday’s demonstration.

His grandfather said it was good to see him for the first time in a year and that the jumps are always exciting.

Porter said his team is touring the Southeast.

“We’re trying to give thanks to all the health care workers working selflessly, long hours, long days, long nights; giving back to the world -- keeping us safe, keeping everyone safe -- and so this is our thanks to them,” Porter said.

A similar demonstration at Baptist South on Tuesday afternoon had to be canceled because of high winds. Porter told News4Jax they are hoping to reschedule it for noon Wednesday.

The U.S. Army Black Daggers are also scheduled to salute health care workers at Southeast Georgia Health System in St. Marys at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

If you’re in the area, be sure to look up and catch a glimpse of their tribute.

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