Thursday, August 17, 2000

Paratroopers fill skies over Lunken

82nd Airborne holds convention in Northern Kentucky

By Terry Flynn
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FORT MITCHELL — The sky over Lunken Airport will be filled with green uniforms and parachutes at 10 a.m. today as members of the 82nd Airborne Division Association jump from planes to convene their annual convention.

        Some 1,000 retired and active members of the 82nd Airborne, including veterans from every war action since World War II, will then gather at the Drawbridge Estate today through Saturday.

        The association has 25,000 members nationwide, Executive Director Manny de Jesus said.

        “We conduct a lot of association business during the convention, and we have some parties, and we tell some stories and some lies,” he said Wednesday.

        “We invite everyone to come out to Lunken Airport and see the blue sky turn green when our members jump in.”

        Members of the 82nd Airborne Chorus will be among paratroopers flying here from Fort Bragg, N.C.

        The chorus, which has sung all over the United States, will perform each day at the convention.

        Brian Rudd, 22, of Burlington is a member of the 82nd Airborne Chorus.

        A graduate of Boone County High School, he sang in the school choir and enlisted in the Army right after high school.

        After serving a three-year hitch, Mr. Rudd re-enlisted. He plans to enter Northern Kentucky University after his tour ends next year, his family says.

        Some of the chorus members will be staying in Burlington.


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