Kevin Dyson, an Independence High School coach and assistant principal as well as a former Tennessee Titans’ wide receiver has a new experience to add to his list of life’s great moments; a list that also includes two of the best-known plays in NFL history.
Kevin Dyson was one of 13 community partners who performed a tandem jump with soldiers of the Army’s Golden Knights’ parachute team. The jumps were performed on June 13 at Fort Knox’s Brooks Field.
“I’ve been trying to equate this with something,” Dyson said after the jump. “This was one of the top experiences of my life. “It was indescribable. You have to experience it for yourself.”
Dyson’s boss’s boss, Williamson County Schools Director Mike Looney, is an avid skydiver having first jumped in the Marine Corps.
Dyson played for the Titans from 1998-2002. In 2000, he scored the winning touchdown in a playoff game against Buffalo on the final play of the game, which is known as “the Music City Miracle.” A few weeks later, he was held one yard short of a game-winning touchdown during Super Bowl Super Bowl XXXIV that gave the victory to St. Louis.
Dyson was among the first three jumpers out the door of the aircraft on a hot Kentucky morning.
Among those on the ground to congratulate Dyson was Col. Wayne Hertel who commands the 3rd U.S. Army Recruiting Brigade. The two men are both University of Utah graduates where Dyson played football before drafted by the Titans in 1998.
The pair posed for a photograph together with a Utes’ banner prior to the jump.
Dyson admitted that he is normally scared of heights. However, on this day, he said he felt no fear.
“I never once felt like I was in danger,” Dyson said. “I thought, ‘Oh, this is great!’”
A diverse group joined Dyson at Fort Knox. Among the jumpers were fellow educators, a TV anchor, a country music disc jockey and an author.
Each was chosen by 3rd Brigade that oversees Regular Army and Army Reserve recruiting operations throughout the Midwest.
“Many members of the general public aren’t aware of the opportunities today’s Army can offer young people,” said Lt. Col. Kevin Polosky who commands the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion which first nominated Dyson to jump. “We give these community partners a brief exposure to the life of a Soldier in hopes they’ll share this experience with their circle of influence.”
For Dyson, it’s an experience he won’t soon forget. He said the leap from more than a mile off the ground began quickly but ended peacefully with a nearly seven-minute coast to the ground guided by his tandem partner.
“Once they open the chute, it’s a peaceful moment,” Dyson said. “You’re looking at the sky. “You’re up there high, but it’s cool.”
The Golden Knights perform each year at more than 100 demonstration sites across the nation and abroad. Demonstration teams can support events with two totally different shows staged at an altitude of 12,500 feet above the earth. Team members demonstrate the maneuverability of the human body while falling at speeds in excess of 120 mph.
The United States Army Parachute Team was founded in 1959.
Information about Army opportunities can be found at local Army recruiting centers or at www.goarmy.com.