June 12, 2009

Bush marks birthday with skydive

Former President George H.W. Bush celebrated his 85th birthday Friday with a tandem parachute jump at his summer home in Maine.

Bush was accompanied by a member of the Golden Knights, the Army parachute team, the Boston Globe reported. He announced after landing that he is already planning another jump when he turns 90.

Even jumping with an escort gives the feeling of flying high, Bush said.

Bush made his first jump as a 20-year-old Navy pilot when his plane was shot down over the Pacific in 1944. He began his tradition of escorted birthday jumps when he turned 75, doing two on that birthday, two more when he turned 80 and another in 2007 to celebrate the reopening of his presidential library at Texas A&M, CNN said.

Two of Bush's sons, former President George W. Bush and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, welcomed him back to earth, CNN said.

This is great, Bush said after the landing. I'm glad to be alive and glad my family's all with me.