WAIALUA, Hawaii -- "I've gotta do this again!" Spc. Travis Anderson exclaimed as his parachute drifted to the ground behind him, excited eyes confirming his words were true and that he has a shot at earning his wings in airborne school.
Anderson, an intelligence analyst assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 311th Signal Command (Theater), raised his right hand and reenlisted in the Army for six years at Dillingham Airfield, July 16. Anderson, his wife Sara and four other Soldiers celebrated his decision by skydiving tandem with a local skydiving company.
The jump was Anderson's first, and intended to be a beta test of sorts, as his reenlistment contract includes a $26,000 bonus for electing to attend airborne school. The next chapter of his Army career seems to be off to a good start, gauging from his reaction to his first jump.
"I know it's completely different than the Army style of parachuting, but it solidified for me that I really do enjoy parachuting or skydiving," Anderson said. "I strongly suggest people try it, even if they're afraid of heights, it's a completely different feeling than you've ever experienced."
"I was touching the clouds," Sara said beaming. The jump was also Sara's first, to which she had a similar reaction. The couple seems to have a new pastime in common. "We are definitely doing this again soon."
Soldiers who jumped with the couple included Anderson's reenlistment officer, Cpt. Faith Fisher, an intelligence officer assigned the 311th Intelligence Office; her husband, Chief Warrant Officer Stanley J. Fisher III, of Bravo Co., 301st Military Intelligence Battalion; Spc. Roberto Morales, an intelligence analyst assigned to HHC; and Cpt. Liana Mayo, 311th Public Affairs Officer.
"Travis is an outstanding intelligence Soldier who operates at a higher capacity than his current rank and will go far with his Army career. I was honored when he asked me as an Active Guard Reserve military intelligence officer to conduct his reenlistment and to sky dive," Faith said. The jump was also the Stanleys' first, which she said they both enjoyed. "This was another excellent opportunity for our team to integrate with HHC, our brothers and sisters in the components, and our family members, and to team build with one another!"
"I think the Army is a great organization to be a part of," said Anderson. "For those on the fence about whether to get out or stay in, I suggest they give the Army a second chance and see where it will take them. There are so many opportunities and a variety of experiences everywhere the Army takes you."
Anderson will attend airborne school at Fort Benning, Georgia, as part of his Permanent Change of Duty Station next summer.
"I know I have a seat, just don't know when," Anderson said, "I'm really looking forward to it though and hope to make the 311th and my new unit proud. It will be a great honor to earn my airborne wings."
For more information about joining the 311th Signal Command's dynamic team of Active Component, Reserve and Active Guard Reserve Soldiers and Dept. of Army Civilians, contact Master Sgt. Roxanne Salisbury, roxanne.s.salisbury.mil@mail.mil.