Jenna Bush Hager took the plunge with the U.S Army in honor of her grandfather, former president George H.W. Bush, who made his last jump 7 years ago in celebration of his 90th birthday.
Jenna Bush Hager, 39, in honor of her grandfather, George H.W.Bush, took the plunge with the Army’s Golden Knights, which is the same team that he’d jumped with. Hager shared in an Instagram post, honoring her grandfather.
Hager says her grandfather decided to jump to honor his years as a pilot in WW11. The first time he ever jumped was in 1944, at only 19 years old. The plane he was on was shot down the pacific, and he was forced to jump.
: Jenna Bush Hager attends Hudson River Park Friends Playground Committee in New York, NY | Source: Shutterstock
Even though he’d hit his head pretty bad on the plane, he was lucky to be rescued and survived the ordeal. However, two of the teammates he was with on the plane did not come out alive, and he said that he always jumped for them.
Hager, speaking to her co-anchors virtually while inside the plane, said how terrified she was to skydive but pushed on through her grandfather’s inspiration. She continued to speak of her grandfather’s bravery:
"If he can do it, I can too!"
Hager says that her grandfather enjoyed skydiving and always thought of it as a way to celebrate life. His 2014 jump was his 8th, and the daredevil attitude was born from his failed jumped at 19.
Hager says it is not her first jump either, but she was just as equally terrified when she did it first. Now, a mother of three, she feels a little more confident knowing that if her grandpa did it that many times and at his age, she too can do it.
Saying that he had a heart as big as Texas, was funny, smart, and a bigger-than-life person.
Hager remembers her grandfather telling her to live and enjoy every moment and never be afraid to be in the ring. He reminisced, saying how much he missed being an active member of the game.
She remembers when he made his last jump, and at the time, he’d been suffering from a form of parkinsonism and could not use his legs but still took the plunge. She concludes by saying:
"And so today, seven years after the last time he jumped, I jump for him. And I will jump because I'm in the game, enjoying every moment, and feeling closer to him in heaven.”
Hager is not the only one that holds beautiful memories of her grandfather. In her new memoir "The Man I Knew," Jean Becker, former chief of staff, commemorates the former president, saying that he had a heart as big as Texas, was funny, smart, and a bigger-than-life person.
She says that even after leaving office with a plan to retire and settle down, Bush knew that his role as the former president was crucial for championing good causes such as volunteerism and cancer research.
Bush was known to be selfless and always put others' needs before his own, and until he took his last breath, he never stopped thinking of new ways to make a difference in someone’s life, whenever and wherever he could.
This is all a tell-tale of the kind of man and person the former president was and why his granddaughter Hager and many other people remember him so fondly.