Landon Biggs and his brother, New Jersey boys, pose for a picture during the 2018 Power in the Pines Open House and Air show on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., May 6, 2018. Landon travels with his family throughout the Northeastern U.S. to watch the U.S. Army Golden Knights perform. He and his brother wear flight suits identical to the Golden Knights and dream of being on the team one day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Ariel Owings) (Photo by Airman Ariel Owings)
The Gold Demonstration Team, part of the Strategic Army Corps Sport Parachute Team, pose for a photo during the Power in the Pines Open House and Airshow on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., May 5, 2018. The Army Golden Knights performed two times during each day of the airshow. The first performance was a mass exit and the second was a full performance. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Ariel Owings) (Photo by Airman Ariel Owings)
Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. —
The smells of festival food fill the air as he climbs over enormous static aircraft displays. Pausing in his exploration, Landon, a 4-year-old New Jersey boy, looks up and sees them; plummeting from the sky as trails of smoke follow behind them creating red-stained spirals in the midst of the clouds.
They formed diamonds and stars in the sky with their free-falling bodies before breaking off from each other. Landon watched with wide eyes, the bright yellow parachutes explode out of their backs with a black “Go Army” flag flowing behind one of the tiny humans. He wondered who they were:
They are the U.S. Army Golden Knights.
Watching the Soldiers hit the ground, Molly Biggs, Landon’s mother, watched as her son developed a passion unlike any other: a newfound dream to become a professional parachute jumper on the Golden Knights team.
“The first time I saw them, they did a lot of tricks and I liked it a lot,” said Landon.
Coming from a military family, Biggs told Landon about her father serving in the Air Force, which kicked off his aspiration to become a pilot.
With hearts full of patriotism and a military mindset, this young family of six have been traveling the Northeast, following the U.S. Strategic Army Corp Sport Parachute Team, the “Golden Knights,” to watch the intense, high-speed demonstrations they perform.
By following the Soldiers around, Biggs wanted to show her three sons what their family has been a part of while serving in the military.
With his new dream in mind, Landon was performing his own “demonstrations.” Using the edge of the couch as the ledge of the C-31A Troopships open door, he jumps, feeling the wind on his face. He hits his target perfectly -- landing on his living room floor.
“We got home that night and Landon was jumping off of everything pretending he was with the [Golden Knights],” said Biggs. “He’s been obsessed ever since.”
Landon’s fixation sky rocketed when he met the Golden Knights Team at the 2014 Millville, New Jersey air show just a couple of months later.
He walked up to the signing booth star struck, hoping for their autographs.
“I wanted to fly planes until I met the Golden Knights,” said Landon. “Now I want to jump and fall from the sky.”
Biggs said after meeting the Golden Knights, Landon wanted to be one for the following Halloween. All she had that resembled a flight suit was black hoodie. She put an Army patch on it and called him a Golden Knight.
After relentlessly searching, Biggs found a flight suit that looked just like the Golden Knights.
Noticing 4-year-old Landon running around the Millville air show in his flight suit, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jennifer Espinosa, a Golden Knights team member, gave them an airborne patch to put on the tiny suit – his uniform was complete.
Now having a suit that looks just like the ones the Golden Knights wear, Landon’s dreams have come one step closer to coming true.
“He’s been a Golden Knight every Halloween since,” said Biggs.
Now seven, Landon has passed his original flight suit on to his 4-year-old brother and has a new suit that matches. Now a two-man team, Landon and his brother play pretend, turning the heads of their audience across the flightline as they hit the target on their living room floor.