83-Year-Old Skydives for Memorable Father’s Day

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For Father’s Day, one Indianapolis man got to re-explore one of his greatest passions: Skydiving.

Jim Diggle, 83, is a veteran. He served in the Korean War. He was a part of the 82nd Airborne Rangers. Skydiving is nothing new to Diggle. Throughout his life he has made a total of 887 jumps. This is combining military jumps with recreational jumps. However, it had been over 40 years since he made his last jump. The last time Diggle went skydiving was in 1976. Jim Diggle’s daughter made the skydive happen on Sunday, May 18 as a Father’s Day gift.

Kimberly Dove, his daughter, expressed her happiness about taking him skydiving.

She said that she knew it was on her father’s bucket list, and she wanted to help get him back into the clouds for a jump. “It just means so much to me to know that he’s very happy to be doing this,” Dove said. “This is one of the things he wanted to do again.” Like Diggle, Dove is also an Indianapolis resident. Diggle is legally blind. In addition, he is also battling cancer and has suffered from multiple heart attacks.

Diggle said that because this jump took place with family members it means even more to him and has a special meaning.

“Doing it with my family, I think it was probably one of the most touching things I’ve had happen in many years,” Diggle said. Diggle expressed no regrets at taking another jump out of a plane, explaining that it is an experience a person gets used to. “Skydiving is something that, as you start out, you become more accustomed to it,” Diggle said. “As you go along, it’s just a whole lot of fun.” According to Dove, the weather proved to be a problem during their skydive. To go skydiving the conditions need to be ideal. There were a couple of hours of delay.

Dove and Diggle went to Skydive Indianapolis which is located in Frankfurt, Indianapolis—about 56 miles northeast of Indianapolis. On the drive to Skydive Indianapolis, there was plenty of talk along the way according to Dove. “Chit-chatting all the way and watching the clouds hoping that ‘oh my goodness it looks a little dark is it going to be all right?’ and you know dad’s just like, ‘Yeah, yeah, everything’s fine,’ ” Dove said. The skydive they went on was a tandem skydive. Diggle noticed some changes since his last jump in 1976. “That was a nice ride; I loved it. I think it was more fun than I remember and it was a great experience doing it with my family,” Diggle said.

“And these parachutes are a whole lot better than they used to be.”

Diggle said that in the future he is open to going on another skydive. After Diggle served in the Korean War, he worked as a jump-school instructor at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. “A good friend and I, we started skydiving and did a little barnstorming all around the country and had a great time doing it,” he said. “For my first jump, we went down to an Army surplus store and bought some used parachutes, came home and cut the panels out of them in the garage with some scissors to make our own sport parachutes. And that was back when hardly anybody was doing it. That goes back to 1956.”

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