LAKE WALES, Fla. (WFLA) — A World War II veteran celebrated two special occasions in Polk County this past weekend: his 95th birthday and his 50th skydive.
Hector Hita Sr. served as a pilot in the U.S. Army’s 11th Airborne Division from 1945-1947, but he wasn’t finished flying just yet. His son, Vince Hita, said that when he surprised his father with a trip to Lake Wales for his landmark 50th jump, his father had tears in his eyes.
“I told him this past Monday, and as I told him about it, his head and shoulders dropped then he looked at me teary-eyed,” Vince told News Channel 8. “I remember that feeling when in Sept. 2016, he told me I was going with him and other Elks Club members to Pearl Harbor for the 75th anniversary of the attack.”
The older Hita suited up in his American flag shirt and harness and took flight. Video of the dive shows the 95-year-old with a huge smile on his face as he and the flight instructor floated through the sky.
And of course his family was there on the ground, cheering him on as he stuck the landing.
“Would you do it again?” The fight instructor asked after they made it back to the ground.
Hector just laughed and said, “Okay!”