Even small gifts change lives

Pay It Forward

An Honorary Skydive

When Sheila’s dad passed away, she longed for a way to commemorate the veteran and paratrooper for his service. To do so, she used her Pay It Forward funds to treat four veterans to an experience of a lifetime … skydiving.

Bell Employees

Sheila Carter, customer service representative



Ryan Moss, U.S.Army veteran

Jamie Appletoft, North Dakota Air National Guard veteran

Steve Crawford, U.S. Air Force/Army National Guard veteran

Troy Deberg, North Dakota Air National Guard veteran

The Need

A Vietnam veteran and paratrooper, Sheila Carter’s dad was her role model. So when he died, she desperately searched for the perfect way to honor his memory. With skydiving on her bucket list, she decided to Pay It Forward to veterans, giving them to chance to experience skydiving with her.

“I’d never jumped out of a plane before. It was one of the things on my bucket list,” says Ryan Moss, a U.S. Army veteran. “I thought it was cool she had wanted to honor veterans that way. It’s important for the community to see there are a lot of people you may not realize that serve or have served.”

The Impact

Having survived a stroke in 2015, Ryan was medically discharged from the Army.

“I wasn’t sure how my body would respond (to skydiving),” he says. “That first step – when you get outside the plane –is a big first step.”

A combination of nervousness and excitement pulsed through Sheila’s veins. “The scariest part for me was when the door opened, and it was actually cold,” recalls the customer service representative. “The first 45 seconds, you free fall. Once the parachute opens, then it’s like really quiet. I can’t even explain the adrenaline rush. It was amazing!”

Not only did skydiving honor the veterans, it empowered and inspired a few.

“I tell people I’m not letting my stroke define me – and they shouldn’t let whatever else happens to them define them,” Ryan notes.“Whatever they want to do, they can do.”

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