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Ohio Man, 87, Skydives To Aid Sick Great-Grandson

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File photo of skydivers.  (credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

File photo of skydivers. (credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

WAYNESVILLE, Ohio (AP) — An 87-year-old World War II veteran who parachuted into Japan has taken to the skies again in an effort to support his ailing great-grandson.

“Whatever little bit I can to do help, be glad I can do it,” explained Clarence Turner, of Fairfield in southwest Ohio.

He made the jump Saturday in tandem with an instructor at the Red Stewart Airfield near Waynesville. He wanted to generate attention for the plight of his 10-month-old great-grandson, Julian Couch, who suffers from a lung disease.

Julian is hospitalized in Columbus and his family faces mounting medical bills for the cost of a lung transplant, WLWT of Cincinnati reports. A fundraising event is planned for June 2.

The Couch family’s financial pressures were aggravated when their Hamilton home was burglarized while they were staying with the child in Columbus, Turner said.

“Today, I’m really jumping for Julian,” Turner told WLWT. “It’s the least I can do for him.”

Turner also made a jump at age 85, one he did then to fulfill a goal to experience freefalling thousands of feet and landing as he did in the Army. He said he served from 1944-47 and made a jump into Japan.

Besides helping Julian, Turner said with a smile that he also had another goal in mind — making a parachute jump at an older age than former President George H.W. Bush. Bush is also a World War II veteran and had to parachute over the Pacific in 1944 when his plane was shot down. Bush made jumps for his 75th, 80th and 85th birthdays.

“I’m going to beat George,” Turner said before the jump.

The former president said in 2009 when he jumped at age 85 that hoped to go again for his 90th birthday.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 

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