YPG takes message of safety sky high

YUMA, Ariz. – August is national anti-terrorism month, and the Yuma Proving Ground kicked it off in a big way Tuesday morning.

“It’s a feeling of tranquility. Everything is quiet, and the view is awesome,” Military Freefall School chief instructor Jose Reyes said, describing his thoughts while parachuting.

Reyes has jumped countless times within the past 20 years.

“I’ve been doing it for so long that it’s really just another job,” he said.

Tuesday’s freefall was a little out of the ordinary. Reyes carried an added accessory – a flag symbolizing anti-terrorism.

Each year, the Army designates August as anti-terrorism month to raise awareness of its efforts to protect service members and their families from terrorist threats.

Major Joshua Enke, Commander of Military Freefall School said, “So that we don’t have to worry about the threats that are out there, and we can just focus on our mission to train the soldiers that come to our school.”

The freefall school took the message of safety above and beyond, hundreds of feet in the air.

“We wanted to do a good job for the community and show the flag the proper way,” Reyes said.

Anti-terror analyst Gary Simpler designed the flag and hopes the jump will remind people to have a watchful eye.

“The events that happened in Chattanooga last month, four dead in a terrorist attack. Things like that show how important it is the public and workforce consciousness to terrorism and the real dangers that lurk even here in the United States.”

About The Author

Eduardo Santiago joined the FOX 9 and ABC 5 news team in February, 2012. That’s the same year KECY launched its very first local newscast. He has been covering local news in Yuma and the Imperial Valley since his start as a KYMA photojournalist in 2006. During his decade in broadcasting, Eduardo has covered some of the biggest stories in the Desert Southwest – from President Bush’s visit to Yuma, Ariz. to the uncovering of drug tunnels that span the US-Mexico border. One of the most memorable stories Eduardo covered was the 2010 Easter Earthquake that rocked the Imperial Valley, Mexicali, and Yuma. Eduardo, along with his news team, won an award from the Associated Press for best coverage of an ongoing story following the quake. Before he made his move to TV, Eduardo was just a kid born in East Los Angeles, where he spent his early childhood. His parents moved him to Mexicali, B.C. Mexico, where he did most of his elementary school education. He finally landed in El Centro, where he graduated from Central Union High School in 2005. Eduardo is currently a student at Imperial Valley College. You can find Eduardo hanging out in the Imperial Valley and Yuma with his family on any given weekend. His off-screen passion is playing guitar and sports.

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