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T-bird helps war buddy launch skydiving apparel line

Jumping out of an airplane never loses its edge for Iraqi War veterans Jorge Pedraza ’14 and Ian Osorio, who served together in the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division. “Every time I jump, I am scared,” Pedraza said. “But every time I face my fear.”

Launching a company requires similar resolve, and Osorio has taken the leap of faith with a skydiving apparel line called Fly Wear Clothing. The online store sells active wear made from dry fit material designed especially for serious skydivers. Throughout the process, Pedraza has provided guidance using his education from Thunderbird’s Global MBA for Latin American Managers program. “Ian is my brother in arms,” Pedraza said. “Helping veterans is something I am passionate about.”

Osorio said the advice from his war buddy has helped him convert a loose idea into a structured plan to fill a market gap. “He helped me trademark my logo and get organized,” Osorio said. “Otherwise, I would just be selling shirts out of the back of my car.”

Both friends said facing their fears as skydivers has helped open their minds to other possibilities in the uncertain global economy. “We all need a little bit of uncertainty in our lives,” Osorio said.

Pedraza said skydiving provides an eagle’s perspective of the world that most people never see. “It changes your perspectives on what is achievable and what is not achievable,” he said. “When you go beyond those barriers, you realize that more things are within your grasp than you thought possible.”

He said this perspective allowed him to move quickly when a military counselor first told him about Thunderbird. “I dove in head first,” Pedraza said, “just like I do out of an airplane.”

Learn more: www.flywearclothing.com

Caption: Jorge Pedraza ’14, left, prepares for a jump with Ian Osorio.

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