68 days might sound like a lot. Man, but it ain't.
I'm Annette O'Neil--airsports athlete, writer, adventurist and daughter of a retired US Air Force Commander. My partner, Joel Strickland, is a triple National gold medalist in Britain in two different skydiving disciplines: freestyle and freefly. I go by "Netterz." He goes by "Joely." We're both completely mad--as evidenced by the fact that, in just a couple of months, we're going to set out on the most epic road trip ever undertaken in the name of skydiving. We're dedicating the effort to Operation Enduring Warrior, for the reasons this website explains in some detail. And we're funding the trip entirely on our own. (That said: We would deeply appreciate contributions to the gas-money fund.)
Joel and I are jumping all fifty states to raise funds and awareness for Operation Enduring Warrior. The effort (which we're calling "Down For 50") already has support from all Joel's sponsors. A few are really going above and beyond to help: L&B are giving free units to each of the OEW athletes with whom we jump; NZA supported us with parachutes; Vertical are supporting us with suits. (We're even popping up to visit the Canadian workshop to receive those, eh? Sorry.)
The trip will kick off at Eloy, where Nik and Brianne of Axis Flight School train OEW's new skydivers, on May 1st. We'll be on the road through October, when Joel heads to Bahrain to judge the Tunnel Worlds. From there, we'll be meeting and jumping with OEW athletes all over the States, hearing and sharing their stories, and making the effort to really understand what's going on during this fascinating, intense moment in American history.
Joely, suffice it to say, will be making a lot of tea. ☕