SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Members of the U.S. Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights (USAPT) made history April 19 as they became the first U.S. Army paratroopers to jump into Alamo Plaza.
Team leader Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Presgraves led the Soldiers from the Army Parachute Team in landing safely on target. As part of their jump, the Golden Knights team members carried in the Prisoner of War (POW) and Texas state flags.
"It was an honor to be part of history jumping into Alamo Plaza," Presgraves said. "It was a jump that our Soldiers will never forget."
The historic parachute feat was in honor of the heroes of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto during the city's annual Fiesta observance. The 125-year-old Fiesta event is a celebration of the unique culture, diversity, and heritage of San Antonio, Texas.
Members of the USAPT's Black Demonstration Team faced heavy rain and low cloud cover this week in San Antonio. The scheduled jump had to be pushed back due to cloud cover, but loyal fans of the Army team remained to catch the historic jump.
The Black Demonstration Team continued its mission by jumping into Robert G. Cole High School on April 20. The Soldiers jumped into the Alamo Stadium Thursday, April 21, for the Battle of the Bands. The event featured 30 high school bands from the San Antonio area and is a Texas tradition.
The Team will perform at the Air Power Expo, in Fort Worth, Texas, April 23-24.
Texas native, and assistant team leader Sgt. Blake Gaynor said while the team's skydiving draws the crowds, it's when the Soldiers hit the ground that one of their most important missions begins -- sharing their Army story with members of the American public across the country.
"After we're done performing, people can come by to meet the team and help us pack our parachutes," Gaynor said.
The interaction provides the Golden Knights with an opportunity to answer questions about Army life and talk about the different jobs they hold as Soldiers in addition to being members of the Army Parachute Team.
U.S. Army Parachute Team Soldiers have earned World Championships and have captured international championships, including the gold medal in the eight-way formation skydiving event at the 2015 U.S. Parachute Association National Skydiving Championships. The team travels over 250 days a year and is watched by more than 100 million people every season.
For more information about the team and upcoming performances visit goarmy.com or follow the team on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/usarmygoldenknights or on Twitter at @ArmyGK.
Editor's note: The U.S. Army Parachute Team is part of the U.S. Army Accessions Support Brigade which is aligned under the Army Marketing and Research Group. The USAPT represents the Army and the United States at International Skydiving Competitions and supports public awareness of the U.S. Army mission by appearing at air shows and other public events across America each year.