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Last jump creates military legacy

By Bonney Bowman 10:51 PM March 21, 2014

A father finishes his career and passes the responsibility of service to his son

ANCHORAGE – There’s a lot of history in the U.S. Army, from the units to the soldiers themselves.

Many families have a legacy all their own.

On Thursday, a father finished his career and passed the responsibility of service to his son.

It started with a commitment to serve and ended with a jump.

It was the last jump of Command Sgt. Maj. Bernie Knight’s 33-year career.

After leaping from an aircraft 109 times, he was ready to keep his feet on the ground.

“It just felt like the right time. Time for some younger guys to step up and get after it,” Bernie Knight said.

One of those younger guys was Bernie Knight’s son, who took this last leap with his father.

“I tried to talk him out of being an infantryman like me and then he said, ‘well, it was good enough for you.’ I said, ‘OK, go sign up,’” Bernie Knight said.

This isn’t the first time the two have jumped together.

When Sgt. Charles Knight faced his very first jump, his dad was by his side.

“The only reason I chose to go airborne is because my father was airborne. I kind of had some proving to do,” Charles Knight said.

Although it may have been a day of lasts for Bernie Knight, it was a day of firsts for his son.

“First time out of a helicopter, first time with a steerable parachute, first time on the Geronimo drop zone,” Bernie Knight said.

It will also be the first time the younger Knight is serving on his own, but he’ll have another family at his back.

“It’s a small Army but a big family,” Bernie Knight said.

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