'I feel like I’m with him': Gold Star mothers skydive in memory of their sons
By BRIAN FERGUSON | STARS AND STRIPES Published: April 5, 2021
Two Gold Star mothers experienced a slice of their sons’ best moments, courtesy of Special Operations Command’s elite parachute demonstration team.
Ellen Comfort and Sandee Rouse, whose sons served in the 75th Ranger Regiment, skydived from 13,500 feet last month with the Para-Commandos at Skydive City in Zephyrhills, Fla., the Army said Friday.
The tandem jumps allow families of fallen service members to connect more closely with their loved ones, the Army statement said.
Ellen Comfort’s son, Capt. Kyle Comfort, was killed May 8, 2010, by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. Sandee Rouse’s son, Pfc. Jim Markwell, died in 1989 during ground operations in Panama.
Both Comfort and Markwell were airborne-qualified soldiers.
“People used to ask him all the time why he wanted to jump,” Rouse said in the statement. “He would say, ‘because of the rush.’ So, I thought I would try and jump out of a perfectly good airplane to feel his rush.”
Ellen Comfort called her son an “adventurous soul and spirit,” and said she thought her son would have encouraged her to take the leap.
“I can’t just sit here and not do anything,” Comfort said. “When I’m around people who are jumping from airplanes and doing all the things he did, I feel like I’m closer to him, I feel like I’m with him.”