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News | May 6, 2020

From competition skydiving to sewing masks

By Sgt. 1st Class Reshema G. Sherlock U.S. Army Marketing and Engagement Brigade Public Affairs

On any normal day, Master Sgt. Jennifer Davidson can be found jumping out of airplanes, training with her teammates in competitive skydiving.

Davidson, a two-time World Parachuting Champion and Military World Games Champion, puts her skills to the test competing around the globe, showcasing the skill and determination of the American Soldier to the world as a member of the U.S. Army Parachute Team, the “Golden Knights.”

That changed as COVID-19 halted the Golden Knights’ mission, grounding Davidson. Like so many other Americans, she began to look for ways to help during the pandemic.

No stranger to her community, Davidson, did just that. The Portsmouth, Iowa, native made over 80 masks for local hospitals and medical facilities in the Fort Bragg area.

“The need was great. There were a lot of places that were lacking in personal protective equipment, and once the demand for masks became greater, I decided to start helping,” Davidson said.

Davidson began making masks for local hospitals using old t-shirts she had originally planned on donating. Soon, the demand became greater than the supply. Thankfully, she knew a group of people she could reach out to for assistance.

“I asked members of my local gym if anyone had materials they were willing to donate,” Davidson said.

As she expected, Davidson received an outpouring of support from her friends and enough materials to get back to what she now finds comfort in doing – sewing masks.

One hospital was so grateful for Davidson’s donations that after her first delivery of masks, they kindly asked her if she would be willing to make some more. Without hesitation, Davidson replied, “Yes.”

“When I donated my first batch to the Cape Fear Valley Medical Hospital, the staff really liked them, and immediately asked if I could make them some more.”

Davidson’s donation to the hospital did not stop after the second request. Pleased by her work, the hospital requested she produce a third batch of masks.

Aside from local hospitals, Davidson has also made masks for family members, friends, and her Golden Knights teammates.

While helping her local community, Davidson stays ready for the Golden Knights’ mission through regular meetings with the members of her team.

 “A big part of skydiving, the competition that we do, is visualizing and watching videos,” Davidson said. “We get together online and watch videos and go over engineering.”

Selfless service is one of the Army’s seven core values and is generally performed without any expectation of praise or reward. Such is the case with Davidson. She wanted to do something to help her community during the pandemic and did just that.

“I just wanted to be able to do something that would help those in need,” Davidson said.




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