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Ellen Comfort and U.S. Army Lt. Col. Ken Ates, Special Operations Command Para-Commando, skydive March 13, 2021, in Zephyrhills, Fla. Comfort is the Gold Star mother of Capt. Kyle Comfort, an Army Ranger who died during combat operations in Afghanistan in 2010.
Ellen Comfort and U.S. Army Lt. Col. Ken Ates, Special Operations Command Para-Commando, skydive March 13, 2021, in Zephyrhills, Fla. Comfort is the Gold Star mother of Capt. Kyle Comfort, an Army Ranger who died during combat operations in Afghanistan in 2010. (Barry Steele/U.S. Army)
Ellen Comfort and U.S. Army Lt. Col. Ken Ates, Special Operations Command Para-Commando, skydive March 13, 2021, in Zephyrhills, Fla. Comfort is the Gold Star mother of Capt. Kyle Comfort, an Army Ranger who died during combat operations in Afghanistan in 2010.
Ellen Comfort and U.S. Army Lt. Col. Ken Ates, Special Operations Command Para-Commando, skydive March 13, 2021, in Zephyrhills, Fla. Comfort is the Gold Star mother of Capt. Kyle Comfort, an Army Ranger who died during combat operations in Afghanistan in 2010. (Barry Steele/U.S. Army)
Ellen Comfort and Army Lt. Col. Ken Ates, Special Operations Command Para-Commando, rehearse skydiving procedures March 13, 2021, prior to a jump in Zephyrhills, Fla. Comfort is the Gold Star mother of Capt. Kyle Comfort, an Army Ranger who died during combat operations in Afghanistan in 2010.
Ellen Comfort and Army Lt. Col. Ken Ates, Special Operations Command Para-Commando, rehearse skydiving procedures March 13, 2021, prior to a jump in Zephyrhills, Fla. Comfort is the Gold Star mother of Capt. Kyle Comfort, an Army Ranger who died during combat operations in Afghanistan in 2010. (Ryan DeCamp/U.S. Air Force)
Ellen Comfort and Army Lt. Col. Ken Ates, Special Operations Command Para-Commando, prepare to land after a skydive March 13, 2021, in Zephyrhills, Fla. Comfort is the Gold Star mother of Capt. Kyle Comfort, a fire support officer with the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, who died May 8, 2010, during combat operations in Afghanistan.
Ellen Comfort and Army Lt. Col. Ken Ates, Special Operations Command Para-Commando, prepare to land after a skydive March 13, 2021, in Zephyrhills, Fla. Comfort is the Gold Star mother of Capt. Kyle Comfort, a fire support officer with the 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, who died May 8, 2010, during combat operations in Afghanistan. (Ryan DeCamp/U.S. Air Force)
Sandee Rouse and Army Sgt. Maj. Jose Vazquez, Special Operations Command Para-Commando, prepare to land after a skydive March 13, 2021, in Zephyrhills, Florida. Rouse is a Gold Star mother whose son, Pfc. Jim Markwell, died Dec. 20, 1989, in Operation Just Cause in Panama.
Sandee Rouse and Army Sgt. Maj. Jose Vazquez, Special Operations Command Para-Commando, prepare to land after a skydive March 13, 2021, in Zephyrhills, Florida. Rouse is a Gold Star mother whose son, Pfc. Jim Markwell, died Dec. 20, 1989, in Operation Just Cause in Panama. (Ryan DeCamp/U.S. Air Force)
Sandee Rouse, Gold Star mother, and Army Sgt. Maj. Jose Vazquez, Special Operations Command Para-Commando, connect a tandem harness before a skydive March 13, 2021. Rouse’s son, Army Pfc. Jim Markwell, a medic with the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, died Dec. 20, 1989 during Operation Just Cause in Panama.
Sandee Rouse, Gold Star mother, and Army Sgt. Maj. Jose Vazquez, Special Operations Command Para-Commando, connect a tandem harness before a skydive March 13, 2021. Rouse’s son, Army Pfc. Jim Markwell, a medic with the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, died Dec. 20, 1989 during Operation Just Cause in Panama. (Ryan DeCamp/U.S. Air Force)
U.S. Special Operations Command Para-Commandos prepare to tandem skydive with Gold Star mothers Sandee Rouse and Ellen Comfort, March 13, 2021, in Zephyrhills, Fla. Rouse's son, Pfc. Jim Markwell, died during Operation Just Cause in Panama in 1989. Comfort's son, Capt. Kyle Comfort, died during combat operations in Afghanistan in 2010.
U.S. Special Operations Command Para-Commandos prepare to tandem skydive with Gold Star mothers Sandee Rouse and Ellen Comfort, March 13, 2021, in Zephyrhills, Fla. Rouse's son, Pfc. Jim Markwell, died during Operation Just Cause in Panama in 1989. Comfort's son, Capt. Kyle Comfort, died during combat operations in Afghanistan in 2010. (Ryan DeCamp/U.S. Air Force)
Sandee Rouse, Gold Star mother, and Army Sgt. Maj. Jose Vazquez, Special Operations Command Para-Commando, skydive March 13, 2021, in Zephyrhills, Fla. Rouse's son, Pfc. Jim Markwell, died during Operation Just Cause in Panama in 1989.
Sandee Rouse, Gold Star mother, and Army Sgt. Maj. Jose Vazquez, Special Operations Command Para-Commando, skydive March 13, 2021, in Zephyrhills, Fla. Rouse's son, Pfc. Jim Markwell, died during Operation Just Cause in Panama in 1989. (Steven Smith/U.S. Marine Corps)
Ellen Comfort, her son Army 1st Lt. Kyle Comfort, and his wife, Brooke Comfort, enjoy time together after his graduation from Airborne school in March 2010. He deployed to Afghanistan the following week and was killed in action May 8, 2010.
Ellen Comfort, her son Army 1st Lt. Kyle Comfort, and his wife, Brooke Comfort, enjoy time together after his graduation from Airborne school in March 2010. He deployed to Afghanistan the following week and was killed in action May 8, 2010. (Courtesy photo)
Army Pfc. Jim Markwell poses in his service uniform in 1989. Markwell was a medic with the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment and died Dec. 20, 1989, during Operation Just Cause in Panama.
Army Pfc. Jim Markwell poses in his service uniform in 1989. Markwell was a medic with the 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment and died Dec. 20, 1989, during Operation Just Cause in Panama. (Courtesy photo)

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.”

ferguson.brian@stripes.com Twitter: @BrianFerg57

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