SAN MARCOS, Texas _ Governor Greg Abbott joined 106-year-old World War II veteran Al Blaschke for a skydiving experience at Skydive Spaceland San Marcos Monday, aiming to honor the service and sacrifices of U.S. military veterans. The duo boarded a de Havilland DHC-6-200-Twin Otter aircraft and made the jump from 8,500 feet. This marked Governor Abbott's inaugural skydiving endeavor.
"Texans and Americans are indebted to the courageous individuals who serve our nation, safeguarding the freedoms we cherish every day," stated Governor Abbott. "It's an honor to share this first skydiving experience with Al Blaschke as a tribute to veterans like him, who have dedicated themselves to preserving our country's promise for generations."
Accompanying the Governor and Mr. Blaschke were Texas National Guard soldiers, veteran advocate Betty Schleder from Georgetown, and professionals from Skydive Spaceland.
Mr. Blaschke, hailing from Georgetown and a former World War II aircraft engineer, initially made headlines by skydiving for the first time on his 100th birthday in 2017. In 2020, he set the Guinness World Record for the oldest tandem parachute jump, alongside his twin grandsons and longtime friend Ms. Schleder. Monday, he once again set the world record, this time with Governor Abbott.
Ms. Schleder, active in her community and a small business owner in Texas, is also known for her participation as a finalist on "Survivor" and "The Amazing Race" television shows.