One of Christian music's most popular recording artists will join the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion Nashville list of tandem jumpers as the Army Golden Knights return to middle Tennessee April 10-13.
Multi-GRAMMY® and Dove-nominated recording artist The Martins, who hail from Hamburg, AR, will be among the jumpers this year. The jumps will be held each day at Outlaw Field in Clarksville, TN. Sisters, Judy Martin Hess, Joyce Martin Sanders and brother, Jonathan Martin, collectively known as The Martins, will be jumping on Wednesday, April 11. They'll join the list of past tandem jumpers including: Darryl Worley, Craig Morgan, Kellie Pickler and members of Little Big Town."We have spent our entire lives together," said Judy Martin Hess. "With only three years between us, we have always been close as siblings. While sharing a music career since we were children, we have literally accumulated a lifetime of memories. So it only makes perfect sense that we would jump out of an airplane together!"
Hess said she and her siblings were honored to be selected to be jumpers. They'll be bringing many of their family members along with them to share in this special day. "The Golden Knights are a group of brave people who keep all of us safe every day by defending our country," Hess shared. "We are eternally grateful for the sacrifices they make. Now we are putting our trust in them to give us an experience of a lifetime!"
"We're excited to have one of the U.S. Army's elite units back in the middle Tennessee area this year," said Lt. Col. Kevin M. Polosky, commander of the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion Nashville. "Our event last year was quite successful, and we're grateful to have another opportunity this year." Polosky said jumpers were nominated by local Army recruiters. The jumpers are a diverse group of educators, entertainers, civic leaders and sports figures.
Last year, Christian performers Gary Chapman and Brandon Heath both jumped. They were so well-received the battalion reached out for a more traditional group. "We had initially hoped we could get one member of The Martins to jump," Polosky said. "We quickly learned that The Martins are a package deal, and all three were willing to participate."
Tandem jumpers are attached to an experienced Golden Knights' jumper. The pair will exit the aircraft from up to one mile off the ground and then land on Clarksville's Outlaw Field.
Jumps are made only after a bloc of training and time to familiarize with their jumper. Once tandem partners are fitted with their jump suits, they will board the aircraft. The tandem duos usually have a one-minute free fall before their parachutes are open. Upon landing, they are interviewed by Golden Knights' personnel who will take video footage and still photographs of their jump.
Millions of people throughout the world come to see the Golden Knights each year at more than 100 demonstration sites across the nation and abroad. Demonstration teams can support events with two totally different shows staged at an altitude of 12,500 feet above the earth. Team members demonstrate the maneuverability of the human body while falling at speeds in excess of 120 mph.
United States Army Parachute Team was founded in 1959. By 1962, the team earned the nickname the "Golden Knights." The color "Golden" signified the gold medals the team had won while "Knights" alluded to the team's ambition to conquer the skies.