Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl Luncheon Speaker Faces "Double Duty"
Fort Worth, Texas, December 16, 2009 – It is not often that a featured speaker at a meeting, conference and/or event will get to display his skills before a bigger setting, but Retired Sgt. First Class Dana Bowman will be handling those tasks this month at the 2009 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl.
In addition to being the featured speaker at the 2009 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl Kickoff Luncheon presented by Armed Forces Insurances and the Omni Fort Worth Hotel here December 30, Retired Sgt. First Class Bowman will also parachute into Amon G. Carter Stadium the next day with two members of The Screaming Eagles Army parachute team and five members of the U.S. Air Force Academy’s Wings of Blue parachute team. All of this will occur prior to the kickoff of the post-season intercollegiate college football game.
Tickets for the noon-time luncheon at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel can be purchased in advance by telephoning 817/810-0012. Tickets are $25 per individual or $200 per table of eight. Ticket prices for the December 31 game between schools from Conference USA and the Mountain West Conference are $50 for sideline seats, $40 for upper deck seats and $20 for end zone tickets. The game will air live on ESPN at 11 a.m. (CST).
Military veterans receive half off any $50 or $40 seat and active duty personnel get in free via the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl corporate military ticket underwriting program. A portion of local ticket sales will go to designated military charities. Tickets for this year’s game can be obtained by calling the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl office at 817/810-0012, or by going to the website at armedforcesbowl.com.
Bowman’s “incredible story of spirit and determination, has made him a sought-after speaker for conferences and meetings which focus on team-building, leadership development, health and wellness, overcoming adversity, mastering change, fostering a safe and positive work environment, drug and alcohol awareness, goal setting and motivation. He has also been featured in Sports Illustrated, Reader’s Digest and People and television programs including Dateline, A Current Affair, Real TV, NBC Person of the Week, Day and Date and Extra.
Before retiring from the U.S. Army in 1996 where he was a Special Forces soldier and a member of the U.S. Army’s elite parachute team, the Golden Knights, Bowman lost his legs in a midair accident after colliding with Sgt. Jose Aguillon during the team’s annual training on February 6, 1994 in Yuma, Ariz.
Bowman and Aguillon were practicing a maneuver known as the Diamond Track where the jumpers streak away from each other for about a mile and then turn 180 degrees and fly back toward each other crisscrossing in the sky. Bowman and Aguillon had demonstrated the Diamond Track more than 50 times without a mistake, but this time was different.
Rather than crisscrossing, the two skydivers slammed into each other at a combined speed of 300 miles per hour. Aguillon died instantly. Bowman’s legs were severed from his body, one above the knee and one below the knee. Bowman’s parachute opened on impact. He was taken to a hospital in Phoenix where doctors closed his leg wounds and stopped his internal bleeding.
Nine months later, Bowman became the first double amputee to re-enlist in the United States Army. After Bowman’s re-enlistment, he became the U.S. Parachute Team’s lead speaker and recruiting commander. Upon his retirement from the military, Bowman received his Bachelor of Science degree in commercial aviation form the University of North Dakota in May 2000.