Gold Star mom jumps in to Normandy with Ranger vets

Eye on Veterans
July 12, 2019 - 10:27 am
Scoti Domeij, a gold star mother, parachuted into Normandy with members of the 75th Ranger Regiment

Photo courtesy Matthew "Griff" Griffin

Scoti Domeij became a gold star mother on October 22nd, 2011. Her son, Sgt 1st Class Kristoffer Domeij was on his 14th deployment with the Army's fabled 75th Ranger Regiment. At the time of his death, he was the soldier with the most deployments in American history to be killed in action. The loss devastated the proud Ranger mom, who had raised Kris as a single mom from when he was 3. 

Domeij credits several organizations including TAPS, the USO and Fisher House for helping her through the most difficult time in her life. Without them, she would have been lost. Still, the only people who can make her feeling of loss completely go away are her family... and that includes the Rangers.

"When I'm with the Rangers or with my son's daughters, that's the only time I don't feel pain," Domeij said during an appearance on the Eye on Veterans radio show. "It's just very comforting to be with Rangers. And it was very fun hanging out with them for nine days, I have to tell you." 

Those 9 days were spent traveling to, preparing for, and executing a parachute jump into Normandy for the 75th anniversary of D-Day. To be clear, Scoti Domeij wasn't there to take pictures, she was there to take part.

'Woo-hoo!' At 97, D-Day veteran parachutes into Normandy

Jumpers exit a C-47 over Normandy on the 75th Anniversary of D-Day
Photo courtesy Matthew "Griff" Griffin

In August 2018 Scoti had approached Matthew "Griff" Griffin, the founder of Combat Flip Flops and a former officer who served with Kristoffer in the Regiment's 2nd Battalion, about joining in on the jump. He tells ConnectingVets the yes he gave her came without hesitation. 

"Kris's mom wants to jump into Normandy with us?" he recalled thinking. "Not only yes, but hell yes! This is going to be fun." 

PHOTOS: U.S. commemorates D-Day anniversary with largest airborne operation since WWII

And so it was that on June 6th, 2019 Ranger mom Scoti Domeij stepped to the door of a WW2-era C-47 and stepped out into the blue with her tandem jump partner. As she saw the beauty of coastal France below, she thought of her son, and how much he would have loved jumping with his brothers-in-arms on the historic day. 

Gold Star mom Scoti Domeij and Matthew Griffin, who served with her son Kristoffer after jumping in to Normandy.
Photo courtesy Matthew "Griff" Griffin

Domeij says that going through the process of preparing for the jump, including a jump she kept secret from the Rangers so that she would be more confident going in to Normandy, allowed her to feel even more connected to her son. It also gave her a full appreciation of why Kris loved all of the high-speed things he got to do as a member of the Ranger Regiment.

75th Ranger Regiment kicks off 2019 Ranger Rendezvous

"It was wonderful! I didn't want to land," Domeij said. "Oh my, if I was a rich woman I would jump every day!"

While everyday jumping might not be in Scoti Domeij's future, she's incredibly grateful to Griff and the rest of the Rangers who brought her along for that one special day. 

"I can't even tell you.... I can't even express how deeply that touched me," Domeij said. "And how grateful I am, and thankful. I can never thank them for pulling this whole thing together."

You can hear the full interview with Ranger Mom Scoti Domeij below.

Want to get more connected to the great stories and resources Connecting Vets has to offer? Click here to sign up for our weekly newsletter.