Tri-State businessman helping military families with world record attempt

This mission isn’t for the faint of heart, but for the members of the Alpha 5 project, heart is what it’s all about.
Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 5:51 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A Springboro businessman is looking to set a world record while raising money to support the families of fallen special forces members.

Larry Connor is known for taking things to the extreme.

He’s been to the depths of the ocean floor and piloted the Axiom 1 space mission.

His next adventure will have him jumping from a hot air balloon from 35,000 feet in the air.

This mission isn’t for the faint of heart, but for the members of the Alpha 5 project, heart is what it’s all about.

“It’s about the team, it’s about the challenge, it’s about the purpose, it’s about the Special Operations Warrior Foundation,” Connor explained.

He has been training for this mission alongside four other jumpers who are all either active or former special operations military personnel.

The group came together with the single goal of breaking the existing world record for the highest HALO formation by a skydiving team while at the same time raising awareness and money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

“I think the challenge itself has value, but probably the greater thing is the purpose,” said Connor. “And by doing something like this, the hope is it will get a lot of coverage and gain awareness.”

The Special Operations Warrior Foundation is a nonprofit that cares for the families of fallen and severely wounded Special Operations Warriors.

“They don’t just provide money, they actually will take your child and they will make sure they’re successful,” explained Alpha 5 member Sgt. Brandon Daugherty. “Anything they need from cradle all the way through career, they’re going to make sure all the boxes are checked. They have mentors assigned to them, they get into the colleges they need to get into and they pay for everything.”

It’s an important mission that’s giving this mission its purpose.

Sometime next week, weather permitting, the Alpha 5 team will take to the skies over Rosewell, New Mexico, in their specially built hot air balloon.

It stands 15 stories high and is equipped with a special ramp so that once at 35,000 the Alpha team members can jump into the thin air one by one and eventually come together so they can link arms into formation and hold it for at least five seconds before landing safely.

“You never know what you’re capable of doing, but you have to start with trying,” said Connor.

All of the proceeds raised will go directly to supporting the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

Learn more and donate here - Alpha 5 Project.

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