Jump to content

The Christian Protestant Community Forums

Sincerely inquiring about the Protestant faith? Welcome to Christforums the Christian Protestant community forums. You'll first need to register in order to join our community. Create or respond to threads on your favorite topics and subjects. Registration takes less than a minute, it's simple, fast, and free! Enjoy the fellowship! God bless, Christforums' Staff
Register now

Community Fellowship

John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
Sign in to follow this  

Former Green Beret who jumped on D-Day celebrates 100th birthday with skydive

Recommended Posts


Blowing out 100 candles wasn’t good enough for Polito “Paul” Olivas, a 30-year Army veteran whose career took him through World War II and the Korean and Vietnam wars.

On Wednesday, the former Green Beret jumped tandem from a plane 14,000 feet in the air over Oahu’s North Shore and landed in Dillingham Airfield – a week after he turned 100.

“I’d do it again.” – 100-year-old Polito “Paul” Olivas after jumping tandem from a plane 14,000 feet in the air over Oahu’s North Shore https://t.co/J4FztkRtfR

— Stars and Stripes (@starsandstripes) August 30, 2018

“I’d do it again,” he told a gaggle or reporters minutes after landing.

As a veteran paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division that jumped into Normandy, France, on D-Day in June 1944, Olivas has hundreds of parachute drops under his belt. But none included freefalling — the span in jumping before the chute opens. His jumps were all relatively low to the ground, and the parachutes were connected to a static line that automatically unfurled them as he exited the airplane bay door.

His birthday jump had a minute-long freefall, followed by about five minutes under an open chute.

#Mililani resident Polito “Paul” Olivas, who turned 100 years old on Aug. 22, performed a tandem freefall with Richard Doppelmayer https://t.co/ks9MsQuLEr #Hawaii pic.twitter.com/Qh6bSZEBWx

— Star-Advertiser (@StarAdvertiser) August 31, 2018

He recalled that on D-Day, his plane was only about 300 feet above the ground when he jumped.

“The closer you are to the ground, the less of a target you are,” Olivas said Wednesday morning as he awaited his flight.

He described the sequence of emotions he felt as he dodged bullets above and on Normandy.

Polito “Paul” Olivas doesn’t want cake and doesn’t care about candles. He wants to celebrate the big 100 by going skydiving// https://t.co/Bz6baNDvwm pic.twitter.com/wKNuigrrLG

— KITV4 (@KITV4) August 30, 2018

“Fear turns into anger,” he said. “Then all you want to do is kill, like a mad dog. The adrenaline works.”

He made a second combat jump into Holland as part of the ill-fated Operation Market Garden, whose success depended on capturing nine bridges behind German lines.

He was with the 101st near Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge.

Blowing out 100 candles wasn’t good enough for Polito “Paul” Olivas, a 30-year Army vet whose career took him through WWII and the Korean and Vietnam wars. Instead, the former Green Beret jumped tandem over Oahu’s North Shore https://t.co/J4Fztl947p pic.twitter.com/pMrCGECjNX

— Stars and Stripes (@starsandstripes) August 30, 2018

Olivas entered combat once again in 1951 in Korea with the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team.

He leaped at the chance to join the 10th Special Forces Group, Airborne, when it was formed in 1952. Its members favored wearing green berets, though that headgear was not officially sanctioned. But over time, these soldiers came to be called the Green Berets, and Olivas was among the first members of that elite Army group.

Olivas said he reveled in the Green Berets’ intense training in survival and munitions.

“It gives you more confidence,” he said. “What we learned was, if the birds eat it, we can eat it. If you’re really hungry, you can catch a snake. A snake is pretty good eating if you know where to cut it.”

Asked why he joined the Green Berets, Olivas said, with some hesitation, “Probably, the distinction – blood and guts. When you’re Airborne, you’re already there. The Green Beret is a little bit higher, a little bit more meaner, more uglier.”

At 100, Olivas is the picture of health, needing neither eyeglasses nor hearing aids. He takes no prescription drugs.

As he registered for the jump at Skydive Hawaii, an employee asked the 120-pound Olivas a set of required questions.

“Any medical conditions that would affect your ability to jump?” she asked.

“Anxiety,” Olivas said, jokingly.

He jumped in tandem with Richard Doppelmayer, a family friend who estimates he’s made more than 26,000 skydives.

Robert Kent, 81, also made the jump and arranged it for Olivas, who retired from the Army in 1970 and has lived in Hawaii for 50 years.

“I had asked him, ‘What are you going to do for your 100th birthday?’” Kent said.

“One more jump,” Olivas had quipped, and Kent got busy making it actually happen, postponing it a few days to make way for Hurricane Lane.

“I’ve been very fortunate,” Olivas said of his life before the jump. “A lot of friends, a lot of close calls, but God saved me for something.”

When a friend informed him that a 102-year-old held the Guinness World Records for oldest person to skydive, Olivas said he’d jump on his 103rd birthday.

“Gotta stay healthy,” he said. “Keep drinking my Bud Lite.”


© 2018 the Stars and Stripes

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

View the full article

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Create New...