Group jumps from WWII airplane in Frederick - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Group jumps from WWII airplane in Frederick

FREDERICK, OK (KSWO)- Today, 16 people from around the country jumped out of a World War II style airplane at the Frederick Army Airfield.

"I'm 55-years old and I'm still a paratrooper, it is freaking awesome," said John Wagner.

"It's amazing, a completely amazing feeling,” said Hank Askin.

The World War Two Airborne Demonstration Winter Jump School is giving 16 people the opportunity to go through training and jump out of this C-47. People came from all over the country to go through this school and live a day in the life of the brave soldiers who served our country during WWII.

John Wagner didn't have to travel too far, coming from Tulsa.  He says he made the trip down to Frederick because of what the jump school represents.

"My kids grew up with me telling them about WWII because my dad fought it. But if you talk to most kids today, they dont' have a clue, it's a footnote in a textbook. The WWII veterans are dying out so fast that this is a profound way for us to share with the public what it is to be WWII veteran,” said Wagner.

Wagner served in both the Marines and the Army and says completing the jump school this week gives him a whole new appreciation for his father's service.

"When I was young and I told him about the things I was doing when I would come home from leave, he would say ‘ehh you guys got it easy because of the technology.’ Now I get a taste of what he was doing and let me tell you, this is hard work," said Wagner.

Hank Askin is also a former member of the Army, traveling all the way from Frederick, Maryland to train at the school.

"For me, I retired from the Army 5 years ago and Airborne was the one thing I never got a chance to do. and I'm older now and I figured that had passed me and I'd missed my chance," said Askin.

Askin said he had no idea the jump school existed until he saw instructors jumping at an air show and he saw that chance he thought he missed.

"It was the first available spot they had. As soon as I found out it actually existed, it was all, I couldn't get in fast enough," said Askin.

Wagner had jumped before but this was Askin's first time. He completed his 5th jump this afternoon, which is how many you need to be certified and earn your wings.

"It's kind of hard to explain, you know? You've just got to do it. If there's anything in your life you want to do that you never could and then you finally accomplish it, that's it," said Askin.

Wagner says he hopes the jump school can also serve as a way to teach others about patriotism and the sacrifices veterans made.

"If we don't learn as an American people to be proud of our country, proud of our achievements, proud of our past and proud of our WWII veterans, we are doomed to repeat the wars of yesterday over and over and over again. We've got a great country and we've got a great story to tell. Future generations have got to know what those men did," said Wagner.

The jump school will finish tomorrow with an Open Hanger Day, which is open to the public, at the Frederick Army Airfield from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. World War II veterans will be on hand to pin the wings on those who completed the school.

Copyright 2016 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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