1:32 PM PDT, August 17, 2021
It’s typical to sing “Happy Birthday” when someone special takes another trip around the sun. What’s not typical is when that person has turned 100 years old and celebrates by jumping out of a plane.
Tom Rice, a WWII veteran, says the secret to longevity is to “keep moving,” though it’s doubtful other centenarians are following his lead by parachuting from the sky.
But this isn’t new to Rice.
In 1944, Platoon Sergeant Tom Rice commanded 12 paratroopers as they jumped over Normandy, France, for Operation Overlord. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge in Belgium and was one of the soldiers who captured Adolf Hitler’s Eagles Nest in Germany.
After his time in the 101st Airborne Division, Rice dedicated himself to being an educator for over 40 years.
Earlier this week, he recreated his D-Day heroism by jumping out of a restored WWII plane, with the help of some former U.S. Navy SEALs.
Skydive Palatka created a custom-made tandem rig for Rice’s jump, that included a small computer for extra safety.
As he parachuted over the beaches of San Diego, Rice — who does CrossFit — was welcomed back to land as the hero he is.