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Former President George H.W. Bush jumped out of an aircraft to celebrate his 90th birthday, something he had been planning for the last five years. Bush has skydived several times in the past to enjoy milestone birthdays, and has decided to keep the tradition going, despite his old age.
Bush’s birthday plans had been kept a secret for quite some time so that he could cancel them if he wanted to. However, this morning he announced to the world that he was going through with them.
It's a wonderful day in Maine -- in fact, nice enough for a parachute jump.
— George Bush (@GeorgeHWBush) June 12, 2014
Bush jumped early Thursday with a military veteran in Kennebunkport, Maine, and touched ground a little after 11:00 a.m. This jump marked his eighth time skydiving and is the last jump he plans to make in his life, USA Today reported.
According to the Today Show,his first time jumping from a plane was in 1944 during World War II, when the plane was shot at on Chi Chi Jima Island by the opposing side. Bush was forced to parachute out of the plane into the water, and was the only man who survived. It was a disastrous moment which left Bush scarred, but he said that feeling made him grow a love for skydiving.
Bush has always been known for living an active, adventurous lifestyle. During his presidency, his played sports such as tennis and jogged. He now suffers from Parkinson’s disease, which has confined him to a wheelchair, but he doesn’t let that get in the way of him enjoying life.
Along with skydiving, Bush is also celebrating his birthday with a special private dinner with over 200 people, including friends from his presidency and family. His sons former president George W. Bush and former Florida governor Jeb Bush will be there as well, The Associated Press noted.
“He’s lost his mobility, but he hasn’t lost his heart,” his friend, Ken Raynor from the Cape Arundel Golf Club, said.