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Minnesota lieutenant governor ready to jump for troops

ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon is going above and beyond: above her Capitol office and beyond what others in her job have done.

Prettner Solon announced Thursday that she will skydive with the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team on Tuesday to show support for military personnel.

"The men and women of our armed forces put their lives in danger every day in defense of our freedom and our way of life," Prettner Solon said. "As Minnesotans, we owe military service members and their families our sincere gratitude and constant support. I am honored to join the Golden Knights in this public demonstration of support for those who selflessly serve our country, at home and abroad."

The lieutenant governor, a former state senator from Duluth, will be attached to a Golden Knight in the tandem skydive. She is to jump from 12,500 feet, landing on the Minnesota Capitol mall at 2:20 p.m. Tuesday.

After landing, Prettner Solon will be joined by Gov. Mark Dayton and Secretary of State Mark Ritchie -- who are not jumping out of a plane -- in signing a "community covenant," an initiative inviting communities to show support for military families during a war.

Prettner Solon's jump will be preceded by training. She is to report to Holman Field near downtown St. Paul at noon, with Sgt. First Class J.D. Berentis beginning a pre-flight safety briefing minutes later. Their airplane is to take off at 1:30 p.m.

The lieutenant governor, 66, was senator from 2002 to last year, when she took office with Dayton.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.