Admirable contributions

Published 9:54 pm Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The event that took place Sunday at Suffolk’s airport didn’t have to happen.

Skydive Suffolk could have gone about its normal lucrative weekend, charging dozens of folks hundreds of dollars each for tandem skydives.

Staff at could have saved themselves a lot of time and effort by not putting on the event.

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The Suffolk Ruritan Club and Suffolk Elks Lodge could have said “No” when they were approached about selling barbecue at the event, and instead stayed home with their families on Sunday.

But none of those things happened. The result of all those people coming together was an unforgettable experience for dozens of wounded veterans.

The “Jumping for a Purpose” event raised money for charities that support wounded service members and their families. The event allowed 42 wounded veterans — some of them double amputees with injuries as recent as earlier this year — to skydive for free, while it raised money from the food sales and donations from the public.

None of the organizations that participated had to do what they did. They did it from their hearts for people who have given so much for their country.

Of all the people in attendance, the wounded veterans who were invited could have been forgiven if they had wanted to stay at home and in their hospital beds, feeling sorry for themselves.

But instead, they chose to press on with life, to be thankful for its opportunities, to drink in all it has to offer — even when it offered a free jump from a perfectly good airplane.

The veterans are to be commended first for their service and sacrifice, but also for their willingness to recover from their injuries mentally, no matter their physical condition.

The folks at put on a great event and should be congratulated on their effort.

The Suffolk Ruritan Club and Suffolk Elks Lodge have been giving back to the city and its people for decades, and they showed this weekend that their tradition of doing so not will not be ending anytime soon.

And Skydive Suffolk has always ranked as one of the city’s most military-friendly businesses. This event was one of their best efforts yet to give back to our country’s heroes.