Friday, January 19, 2018

Salt Lake VA therapist got veteran to jump from perfectly good plane

VA therapist helps dying Veteran complete bucket list
VAntage Point US Department of Veterans Affairs
Jill Atwood
January 18, 2018

The sky is the limit
With help from VA Recreation Therapist Lili Sotolong, left, Veteran Kenneth Augustus was able to scratch skydiving from his bucket list.

Army Veteran Kenneth Augustus loved adventure. He loved to rock climb, and scuba dive, and always had a longing for falling hundreds of feet per second from an airplane.

VA Salt Lake City Recreation Therapist Lili Sotolong knew skydiving was a lofty goal considering his condition, but she was determined to make that dream come true.

“I got a call out of the blue to come work with this Veteran,” Lili said. “I was told he only had a few months to live but when I got there he was beyond positive, and so easy to work with. He had made peace with what was happening to him and was really preparing himself for the inevitable; he just had some things he wanted to experience first.”

Lili made several calls and finally arranged the jump through two very generous community partners: Skydive Utah and the Elks Lodge. It was go time!

“He got to jump with his brother and his son, and they wanted me to do it with them! We had a group hug and were all fist-pumping in the plane prior to the jump. It really was an extraordinary experience.”
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