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A pair of skydivers blew through Bozeman on Tuesday and we do mean blew through. An American woman, Annette O’Neil, and a British man, Joel Strickland, are on a whirlwind tour to skydive in each of the 50 states in one continuous trip. They are on this personally-funded mission to raise awareness for Operation Enduring Warrior.


In 2018, two airsports athletes--an American woman and a British man--are visiting all fifty states in America over the course of one, unbroken journey. They'll skydive in each one. When they make that fiftieth jump, the event will mark the first time the feat has ever been accomplished in one fell swoop.

For all but Alaska and Hawaii, the pair will be making the journey in a motorhome.

The journey isn't just about jumping. It's about finding common ground, first-person, in a fractured world. They'll help illustrate how diverse micro-communities like that of skydiving can foster the inclusiveness, mutual respect and healthy discourse that help veterans reintegrate and heal.

Check out their webpage at:

To donate to their mission support of Operation Enduring Warrior, click here: DONATE.

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“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” – Mother Teresa

Operation Enduring Warrior is pleased to unveil our annual UNBREAKABLE AWARD in recognition of those supporting individuals who have distinguished themselves through dedicated and selfless commitment to the OEW Mission to Honor, Empower, and Motivate. We are delighted to initiate this program to recognize and thank those individuals who demonstrate an outstanding passion for bettering the lives of the adaptive athletes we serve as well as serving the veteran population within their own communities.

Our 2018 UNBREAKABLE AWARD Recipient is Crystal Mai Purdy. Crystal has been coordinating veteran events in the Oregon and Southwest Washington area for over five years; to include athletic, cultural and social engagements. Crystal first became involved in Operation Enduring Warrior in early 2016 at the Bataan Memorial Death March in White Sands, New Mexico. She quickly sought greater involvement and now serves as the Pacific Northwest Regional Outreach Coordinator. In 2017 she participated in numerous local and nationwide outreach, athletic and fundraising events on behalf of OEW.

Crystal has a steadfast passion for our service members that has impacted and directed her professional life. As funeral director of the largest funeral home and cemetery in Portland, she also currently oversees the Dignity Memorial Homeless Veteran Burial Program in Oregon; working with the VA and the medical examiner’s offices to ensure that homeless, unclaimed or abandoned veterans receive a proper burial with military honors. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Oregon Fallen Badge Foundation, a non-profit organization comprised of professionals who are trained to respond when a law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty. In addition to being selected for the Inaugural UNBREAKABLE AWARD, she has most recently received the 2017 Paul Harris Award presented by Rotary International, and the 2018 American Red Cross Military Hero.

Crystal embodies the ideals of selfless service, compassion, and grace during life’s toughest moments. Her unwavering dedication to honoring the sacrifices of all who have worn a uniform, military or public service, are the qualities we all should strive to emulate in our daily lives. At the end of the day, Crystal’s personal mission is “If I can, I should.” Well done and well deserved, indeed. Congratulations, Crystal!


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