The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Ex-paratrooper shares life-changing first jump story

By Anderson Coleman/reporter

A TCC student who jump-started his life shared his military experiences with a SE Campus audience Nov. 15.

“All in all, I had no real solid prospect — no real goal in life,” Nick Koezeff said, but a parachute jump changed all that.

During high school in California, Koezeff’s mother made a deal with him. If he graduated, she would pay for a tangent jump, one in which novice and instructor share a single parachute.

“Being in a plane above 13,000 feet, there’s nothing like watching that door to a whole other realm open up,” he said, describing his initial jump. “It’s kind of like theater and you have that fourth wall, but it’s imaginary. In a plane, that fourth wall vanishes, and there’s nothing between you and that jump. The experience was literally world-changing.”

It certainly changed Koezeff’s world. Shortly after the jump, he went to an Army recruiting station.

“I told them I wanted to jump out of planes, and the recruiter told me to sign right here,” Koezeff said. “Ultimately, I knew I had no drive. I now know I had something to strive for when joining the military, and I was given a gift.”

During his training, he went through static line jumping, in which a cord attached to the airplane automatically deploys the parachute.

Koezeff described static line jumping as a “choice maker” because the parachutist has to know the precise moment and angle to jump.

“The concepts I learned at the 82nd Airborne have reshaped my life,” he said. “I’ve served two tours and been to Iraq twice, and without the military, I wouldn’t be married today.”

Koezeff closed by sharing his hopes for the future.

“I want to be in a country that doesn’t shy away from a threat, and I don’t want to back away from a bad economy,” he said. “The military gave me the opportunity to change myself to something I’m proud of.

“I’m proud to be in a school that I’m actively a part of and proud of wearing an American flag with a ribbon underneath it. I was ultimately, through the grace of God, going to be a success.”

 

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