Two travelers. Fifty states. Every single sky in America.
Over the summer of 2018, two airsports athletes--an American woman and a British man--visited all fifty states in America over the course of one, unbroken journey to make a sport skydive. When they made that fiftieth jump at Dillingham Airfield in Oahu, Hawaii, the event marked the first time the feat had ever been accomplished in one fell swoop.
The journey wasn’t just about jumping. It was about finding common ground, first-person, in a fractured world, and illustrating how diverse micro-communities like that of skydiving can foster the inclusiveness, mutual respect and healthy discourse that help veterans reintegrate and heal.
the project's goal was to raise awareness and funds for Operation Enduring Warrior.
OEW is a veteran-founded non‐profit 501(c)(3) whose mission is to honor, empower, and motivate our nation's wounded veterans through a physical, mental and emotional rehabilitation.
OEW Skydive is one of OEW's several training and adventure programs designed to honor, empower, and motivate our nation’s wounded veterans. The mission of OEW Skydive is to facilitate skydiving for wounded veterans, from initial training through to the achievement of their USPA A-license certification. Skydiving for wounded veterans offers an unparalleled sense of freedom of flight and offers endless mental, physical, and emotional rehabilitative solutions in what can feel like a completely new dimension in their lives. The training takes place in a wind tunnel and often becomes a lifelong hobby.
OEW is a completely volunteer run organization. Donations go directly towards operational support of the organization and its different programs.
Annette O'Neil is, in her words, an "adventurer who writes." She was raised in the US Air Force, spending much of her childhood hopping from base to base as her father's medical career took him from clinical nephrologist to Hospital Commander. After matriculating from active duty, her father moved into a career with the Veteran's Administration, giving Annette a firsthand peek at the uphill battle our returning troops face.
During her nine years as a skydiver, she has seen the power of skydiving to make a difference in veterans' lives, so she co-imagined Down For 50 as her way to contribute to the efforts on their behalf.
Joel Strickland began skydiving in 2006 while backpacking in Australia and New Zealand. Upon returning home to his native Great Britain a few years later he pursued a career in the indoor skydiving industry as an instructor, trainer, and coach.
Between 2010 and 2016 Joel competed in artistic skydiving, earning three national titles along the way and representing Great Britain several times on the world stage. More recently he has become an FAI judge and has been a member of the panel at several world-level events over the last few years.
Joel now works as a freelance skydiving instructor and airsports journalist. Across almost a decade as an industry professional he has trained military veterans form many nations and finds teaching among the most rewarding elements of sport parachuting.
For Joel, Down For 50 represents a collection of skills given to a worthwhile purpose. A way to share some of the many wonders and benefits that skydiving allows us access to.
THE ROUTE ★ 2018
Skydive Alabama ★ Vinemont
Alaska Floats & Skis ★ Talkeetna
Skydive Arizona ★ Eloy
Skydive Fayetteville ★ Fayetteville
Certification Unlimited @ Skydive San Diego ★ Jamul
Ultimate Skydiving Adventures ★ Delta
Conneticut Parachutists, Inc. ★ Ellington
Skydive Delmarva ★ Laurel
Skydive Spaceland Miami ★ Clewiston
Skydive Spaceland Atlanta ★ Rockmart
Oahu Parachute Center ★ Waialua
DZONE Skydiving Boise ★ Boise
Skydive Chicago ★ Ottawa
Skydive Windy City ★ Michigan City
Skydive Iowa ★ Brooklyn
Air Capital Drop Zone ★ Derby
Special Mission ★ WV Skydivers ★ Huntington, WV
Gold Coast Skydivers ★ Abita Springs
Skydive New England ★ Lebanon
Skydive OC ★ Ocean City
Jumptown ★ Orange
Skydive Tecumseh ★ Jackson
Skydive Adventures ★ Luverne
Fred Poole, Balloon Pilot ★ Meridian
Ozarks Skydiving Center ★ Miller
DZONE Skydive ★ Bozeman
Lincoln Sport Parachute Club ★ Weeping Water
Skydive Fyrosity★ Las Vegas
Skydive Pepperell ★ Pepperell
Skydive Cross Keys ★ Williamstown
Skydive New Mexico ★ Belen
The Blue Sky Ranch ★ Gardiner
Piedmont Skydiving ★ Salisbury
Skydive Fargo ★ Fargo
Start Skydiving ★ Middletown
Oklahoma Skydiving Center ★ Cushing
Skydive Awesome! ★ Madras
Skydive Pennsylvania ★ Mercer
Skydive Newport ★ Middletown
Skydive Carolina ★ Chester
Special Mission ★ Skydive Adventures ★ Luverne
Skydive Tennessee ★ Tullahoma
Skydive Spaceland Houston ★ Houston
Skydive the Wasatch ★ Nephi
Vermont Skydiving Adventures ★ Addison
Skydive Orange ★ Orange
Skydive Toledo ★ Toledo
WV Skydivers ★ Huntington
Wisconsin Skydiving Center ★ Jefferson
Melvin's Brewing via Bill & Carol Jones ★ Alpine
News & Updates
Contribute Directly to Operation Enduring Warrior
First, let's get this out of the way: We co-adventurers are self-funding this journey and encourage direct donations to Operation Enduring Warrior. OEW is a 501(c)(3), and all donations to the organization are tax-deductible.
Got a lil' more? We'd love help fueling this effort
OEW is rad, and they put every dollar they get to great use. That said: if you have a little more to spare, heck yeah, we would love some help with the fuel. Driving around the country is thirsty work for our valiant old motorhome, and any contribution you can make will be received with ecstatic joy. Thank you!