87-year-old man takes birthday wish to new heights

TACOMA, Wash. -- An 87-year-old Tacoma man took his birthday wish to new heights, and brought three other generations of his family along for the ride.

Monty Montgomery asked his family to take a leap of faith, and they took the plunge.

"What's it mean to have four generations jump?" wondered grandson Buddy Montgomery. "I'd never heard of something like this before."

One plane, one adventure, four generations trusting a parachute, including the 87-year-old Monte, who had the world at his feet, until the sky had a hold of him.

Monty Montgomery says he felt the fall, heard the wind, smelled and tasted the air. But most of all, he saw the horizon.

That's important because when you ask if he'd do it again: "I really can't answer that because I don't think it'd be any fun jumping blind," he said.

It is the last time he'd see the horizon. Monty has mascular degeneration. Eight years ago a doctor said he'd be blind by now.

"I've been making a liar out of him for a couple of years," he said.

Monty's left eye is dead. He used what's left of his right eye to take in earth's curves and contours, along with the faces of family. It's a family just seven years ago he didn't have.

"One day I don't have a family and the next day I have beaucoups of them," he said.

After a divorce, 40 years passed before the former soldier laid eyes on his daughter Donna.

"I broke down and cried like a baby," he said.

Years later, even through clouded vision he can still see her.

Like any plunge into the unknown, Donna and Monty say falling into a new family took trust -- trust they could love each other and trust they could take a united leap of faith.

"I have a family, a wonderful family, and I hope I'll be around for many more years," Monty said.

Monty hasn't written off other adventures in the future. By then, he may yet have another family member. He's expecting his first great-great-grandchild next spring.