Governor Abbott Skydives With 106-Year-Old WWII Veteran

By: Governor Greg Abbott Press Office
| Published 11/27/2023

(PHOTO: Office Of The Governor, 11/27/23)
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AUSTIN, TX -- Governor Greg Abbott today skydived with 106-year-old World War II veteran Al Blaschke at Skydive Spaceland San Marcos to honor the service and sacrifice of U.S. military veterans. The Governor and Mr. Blaschke were flown in a de Havilland DHC-6-200-Twin Otter aircraft and jumped at 8,500 feet. This was Governor Abbott's first skydiving jump.

"Texans and Americans owe so much to the brave men and women who serve our nation and protect the freedoms that we enjoy each and every day," said Governor Abbott. "I am proud to share my first skydiving jump with Al Blaschke to honor veterans, like him, who helped safeguard the freedoms and promise of our country for generations of Americans."

The Governor and Mr. Blaschke were joined for the jump by Texas National Guard soldiers, veteran advocate and Georgetown community leader Betty Schleder, and Skydive Spaceland professionals.

Mr. Blaschke of Georgetown, a World War II aircraft engineer, first made headlines skydiving for the first time on his 100th birthday in 2017. In 2020, Mr. Blaschke broke the Guinness World Record for the world's oldest tandem parachute jump alongside his twin grandsons and longtime friend, Ms. Schleder, in 2020, and he again set the world record during today's jump with Governor Abbott. In addition to skydiving and being active in her community, Ms. Schleder is a small business owner in Texas and former finalist on "Survivor" and "The Amazing Race" television shows.

Learn more about Skydive Spaceland San Marcos.