Xenia firefighter Benjamin “Levi” Dalton went up with the U.S. Thunderbirds on Friday afternoon, honored for using CPR to save a lifeless 17-month-old child in February.
“I’m honored to fly you, man,” said Maj. Jason Markzan, the pilot that took Dalton for his first flight in a fighter jet. “This is what it’s all about. Guys like you —fire fighters, law enforcement — putting your lives on the line every single day to be able to give back.”
Dalton pulled 9.1 G’s and took the handle for 20 minutes of the ride, Dalton said. And he didn’t get sick at all.
“It’s amazing. No roller coaster could ever prepare you for that,” he said. “Sometimes you’re spinning around and it seems like you lose track of which way is up and down, cutting thorugh the clouds and stuff. It was perfect weather today.”
Dalton saved his 17-month-old neighbor Harper Long after she got stuck behind the families couch reaching for a toy, according to previous reporting from the Dayton Daily News.
“I was at a work-related class, just happened to be getting home and ran into one of the craziest days of my life,” Dalton said. “It all happened pretty fast, and I’m just thankful for the outcome.”
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