Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush and Mike Elliott, US Army Sergeant 1st Class (ret), jump out of a helicopter and parachutes down to St. Anne's Episcopal Church on June 12, 2014 in Kennebunkport, Maine.
Photo by Eric Shea/Getty

George H.W. Bush celebrated 90th birthday with one more parachute jump


The nation’s 41st president celebrated his 90th birthday 6,000 feet up in the air. 

Two years ago, Former President George H.W. Bush made a vow that he would skydive one more time when he turned 90 years old. “I got one more left in me. June 12, 2014,” he told his granddaughter Jenna Bush Hager on the TODAY show. “And it’ll be fun.”

Bush tweeted Thursday morning that he would indeed fulfill his promise.

Strapped to Sgt. 1st Class Mike Elliott, a retired member of the U.S. Army’s Golden Knights, Bush jumped out of a helicopter near his summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine. Elliott also made a tandem parachute jump with the former president on his 85th birthday. 

“That’s what he wanted for his 90th birthday and that’s what he got,” Elliott told the Associated Press. “It’s a very good feeling to be involved and be able to turn back time. He’s probably feeling younger now than ever.”

According to photos and video captured of the skydive, Bush’s landing seemed to be a rough one. But his spokesman, Jim McGrath, said that Bush “is doing great” after the plunge. 

McGrath also tweeted a picture of the jumpsuit Bush planned to wear for the jump.

This certainly isn’t Bush’s first time in the sky. A former fighter pilot in World War II, Bush, a 20-year-old at the time, was cruising over the Pacific Ocean when he was shot down and had to parachute into the open water. He was later rescued by an American submarine. After the war, Bush voluntarily parachuted six more times, three of which were done to celebrate his 75th, 80th, and 85th birthdays. 

“He loves the adrenaline. He loves the jolt. He loves the thrill,” McGrath told the Associated Press.

On his way down, Bush was greeted by a gathering of cheering family members and closest friends. 

While Bush suffers from a form of Parkinson’s disease that had him hospitalized for a period of time and took the use of his legs, Bush was committed to the skydive and celebrated his 90th with exhilaration and an adrenaline rush.