Kimberly Dozier was never the sort of journalist who parachutes into a breaking news story. But that didn’t stop the CBS News correspondent from donning a parachute—or more accurately, lashing herself to someone else with a parachute—for a tandem sky dive with the U.S. Army’s Golden Knights.
Dozier—who sustained crippling injuries in a May 2006 car bomb attack that killed CBS cameraman Paul Douglas and soundman James Brolan, as well as an American soldier and Iraqi translator—jumped in tribute to the Army and Navy surgeons who treated her.
Dozier described the experience in a statement following the jump:
"Before the bombing, I never, ever would have done this. But when a former commander I’d worked with in Iraq contacted me late last week about nominating me for a jump with the Golden Knights, I froze in the street, staring at the email on my Blackberry.
It took me about thirty, very immobile seconds to decide, and I Blackberried back, ‘In a heartbeat. Where do I sign up?’ I only started thinking I was truly insane, as I got to the door of the aircraft, cinched to my tandem jump master Joe Jones.
I did not let myself think about what I was doing, until that split-second before Joe pushed us out the door. I think he realized it was all hitting me — just like two-and-a-half miles of air were about to hit me — because I got uncharacteristically VERY quiet. Very quiet. And probably a bit pale. So he told me a bit early to hook my hands in my harness (I think so I wouldn’t grab the sides of the plane in a vain attempt to keep us from falling out.)
They tell you not to look down as you crouch in the door before launching — excellent advice. I stared at Golden Knight videographer Joe Abelow’s face (and camera) with absolute concentration. He was braced next to us in the doorway, ready to mirror our leap. Staring at his camera helmet helped me stay in that magic, numb state of denial until the split-second we tumbled (with precision, of course) out the door. And then I was facedown in space.
No fear? Yeah, right. When I realized it was actually all working…sailing through space without tumbling helplessly out of control, I started enjoying it. The best part — floating past the clouds — up close and personal with the fluffy things I’d flown through on planes all my life. So sorry, but on my next trip to Iraq or Afghanistan…who needs humvees?"
Watch of video of the jump here.
Maybe Dozier’s jump will inspire ABC’s Chris Cuomo. Back in February, the Good Morning America newsreader confronted his fear of heights by getting himself rigged with a stunt cable and dropped from a 51-story casino.