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Jenna reveals sign from above that gave her strength before her skydive

A surprise sign helped calm Jenna's fears before she made the leap from 10,000 feet.
/ Source: TODAY

Jenna Bush Hager was trying to manage her fear ahead of her skydive from 10,000 feet last week when a small surprise helped calm down the butterflies.

The reason Jenna was doing the skydive in the first place was as a tribute to her late grandfather, former President George H.W. Bush, who marked several milestone birthdays by taking the plunge himself.

Jenna Bush Hager gained the strength to calm her nerves before her skydive when she saw her grandfather's name written in cursive on the plane's cockpit door. Nathan Congleton / TODAY

As Jenna was trying to summon the courage, a simple question kept running through her mind: Why am I doing this?

A glance at the cockpit door of the plane that would take her up to the skies over Virginia provided an answer.

"The words came out, and I looked up and my grandfather's name in cursive was on this plane," she said on TODAY with Hoda & Jenna Monday.

The U.S. Army's Golden Knights parachute team had kept it as a surprise that the plane would be named after the 41st president.

"Nobody knew it," Jenna said. "Our producers who had worked so hard, didn't know that, and it was this like, 'Oh, that's why I'm doing it. To pay respects to somebody I love so much.'"

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The sign from above helped calm her nerves. At least, until she actually leaped out of the plane.

"But I did freak out when I jumped right out, I have to admit," she said.

She screamed her co-host's name, "Hoooooodddddddaaaaaa!!!!" as she plummeted to earth live on TODAY.

"I had to have a code word because the one thing I promised my mom was that there wouldn't be a beep-out," Jenna said.

She also was able to hear Hoda and the rest of her TODAY colleagues cheering her on as she was in the middle of the skydive.

"To hear your team, a group of people that you already adore, cheer for you, I just said to (husband) Henry (Hager), 'I feel like I'm at the right place at the right time in my life,'" she said.