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Seven continents, seven days, seven jumps: Special operations veterans going for skydiving record

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U.S. special operations veterans are trying to execute a first-ever, record-breaking operation by conducting seven jumps in seven days and on seven different continents. 

This vast undertaking, called Triple 7, is being organized by Legacy Expeditions, a veteran-owned company specializing in extreme adventures, to raise 1,400 life-changing scholarships in support of the families of fallen and disabled service members and first responders.

The current record is held by Martin Downs, a U.K. skydiver, who skydived over six continents in eight days and seven hours but couldn’t make it to Antarctica. The time it took him to skydive over six continents earned him a spot in the Guinness World Records.  

Legacy Expeditions is hoping to raise $7 million in donations to honor the Folds of Honor Foundation. The Folds of Honor was started by an Air Force F-16 pilot, Lt. Col. Dan Rooney, as he was returning from his second tour of duty in Iraq. 

His goal was to start a foundation to provide scholarships to the spouses and children of America’s fallen or disabled military members; the goal has since expanded to include the families of first responders. Folds of Honor Foundation has provided more than 44,000 scholarships since 2007. 

The Triple 7 team will have to complete 65 hours of flight time on a very tight schedule just to fly to the seven different continents. The first jump is scheduled to occur in Antarctica on January 9.

“Getting down here showed me this is going to be a motherf***er,” Jariko Denman, one of the team members, told Coffee or Die Magazine. “Just flying down here; it took a long f***ing time.”

Triple 7’s skydives are planned for Santiago, Chile; Miami, Florida; Barcelona, Spain; Cairo, Egypt; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; and Perth, Australia. Upon returning to the U.S. after the seven continent jumps, the group will make a final eighth celebratory jump in Tampa, Florida, the home of the U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM).

Related: 8 places the CIA and military took me that you should visit

Each Triple 7 team member will honor a fallen American service member in each continent and they will all honor the “Kabul 13” at the eighth jump in Tampa.

“Two, three, four years down the line, when everyone’s really forgotten about us, we want to fill the coffers for an organization,” Denman said to Task and Purpose. “If there’s a 5-year-old whose dad or mom was killed four or five years ago in the war when that kid becomes college or trade school age, there’s an [organization] for them to lean on for help.”

The team will check in a practice jump on January 5 or 6, weather permitting, before the jump on January 9 when the clock begins ticking. The team chose to do Antarctica first because of its mandatory three-day COVID-19 test waiting period.

Following the team on its journey is a documentary crew headed by director Dan Myrick of Blair Witch Project fame. Coffee or Die will be posting updates on the team’s journey.

The first episode can be seen below:

Feature Image: Staff Sgt. Daniel Osorio of the U.S. Army Parachute Team makes a tandem skydive over Aguadilla, Puerto Rico on 20 April 2022. USAPT is conducting skydives in their first tandem camp of the 2022 season. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Marcus Denniston) 

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Steve Balestrieri