There are times while I have been in the Marine Corps that I was very humbled and paid my deepest respect. Unfortunately, that usually occurs when you’re at funerals, memorial services or like today a Bronze Star award ceremony. We had two separate Bronze Star award presentation ceremonies today. The first honored five staff officers who completed their duties while in Iraq. The second was for Staff sergeant Goodwin from RCT 2, 3d Bn, 25th Marines (3/25). The kicker was that it was being presented posthumously. His wife and young son were there to receive it. The award was read and that’s when the feeling hit me of humbling and respect. All of the attending Marines snapped to attention as attention to orders was said. The story began to unfold and paint a picture of a selfless man. A man who took care of his Marines and killed the enemy. Not only a man, but a Staff Sergeant of Marines.
As his wife and child sat and listened, his wife began to cry as we all could picture the Marine shielding a young Marines wounded body and returning fire. Not leaving a wounded Marine behind he again formed an assault on the enemy to help recover the downed Marine. Attacking the enemy straight on until he succumbed to his wounds.
The awarding General Officer told his wife “please accept this award on behalf of
America, you husband is a hero and he is a selfless man”. She responded with “that’s him”. Her son sat next to her looking at the medal with his mind going a hundred miles an hour.
I wondered how he would look at that medal twenty years from now. If he would know how much respect we had for his father and the actions he did in the middle of Iraq. Yes, there are times while I have been in the Marine Corps that I was very humbled and paid my deepest respect. This was definitely one of them.
Semper Fidelis SSgt Goodwin, you are an American hero.