Doug Gross planned to become a paratrooper in 1942 when he answered the nation’s call during World War II, but the U.S. Army had other plans for him.
Gross would serve as an artilleryman and later have a successful career as a N.C. State agricultural professor, but he never forget his dream to jump out of an airplane. So 75 years after enlisting, the 93-year-old combat veteran marked Veterans Day on Saturday by making his first skydive 13,000 feet above Triangle North Executive Airport in Louisburg.
“It was great,” Gross said after completing the tandem skydive with instructor John Renfro from the Triangle Skydiving Center. “It was worth the wait and I look forward to next time with my (16-year-old) grandson.”
Gross made the jump Saturday with three of his children and an older grandson as other family members from four generations cheered him on from the ground.
“It’s just a complete family …