Vietnam Veteran Henry L. Goodwin, Jr. Honored on 74th Birthday
Category: News and Community
Vietnam era veteran Henry “Sonny” Goodwin, who served in the U.S. Air Force as an Airman First Class, celebrated his 74th birthday with a special tribute honoring his service to the country. Several family members participated in the virtual veterans recognition ceremony planned by Hospice of the Western Reserve.
Hospice of Medina County veteran volunteer Crystal Dunstan, a Registered Nurse who served as a First Lieutenant in the Air Force from 1988 through 1991, conducted the virtual ceremony via remote technology.
Ms. Dunstan opened the ceremony with a patriotic reading, “What is a Veteran?” recounting the many sacrifices those serving in the Armed Forces make to preserve freedoms too often taken for granted. The “Call to Colors,” was played as she saluted Mr. Goodwin and thanked him for his service. Memories were stirred when the U.S. Air Force theme – “Wild Blue Yonder” was played. A smile broke out on the veteran’s face as he listened with pride to the inspiring anthem.
Mrs. Goodwin had the privilege of honoring her husband by pinning an Ohio Veterans Partnership pin to his clothing. He was also presented with a commemorative certificate.
Keeping the Jets Airworthy
Mr. Goodwin was stationed stateside from August 1964 through May 1975 at Lockbourne Air Force Base (known today as Rickenbacker International Airport) just south of Columbus. The base was home to the 91st Bomb Wing, 70th Bomb Wing, 301st Bomb Wing, 55th Fighter Wing along with many others, including the Tuskegee Airmen’s 477th Composite Group. During the Vietnam War, the base was a bustling military operation reaching an all-time high of more than 18,000 service personnel in 1967.
Mr. Goodwin has always been mechanically inclined, so after enlisting in the Air Force and completing the required military training, he put his expertise to work as a skilled jet mechanic. He was responsible for repairing, maintaining and keeping jets airworthy so they could carry out their missions overseas.
The family has a proud tradition of military service. Hospice of the Western Reserve also presented Mrs. Goodwin with a pin posthumously honoring her late brother-in-law, Tyrone R. Whitley, who served in the Army and died at the VA in 2014.