There I was, looking over some of the photos from parades from 2014. I came across this very special one of Col. John Robert Goodley, USAF Ret.
Back in 1984 I was assigned to the USAF Survival School 3636 Combat Crew Training Wing at Fairchild AFB WA. At this time Col. Goodley was the Director of Operations and later became the Commander of the 3636th Combat Crew Training Wing. When I met him for the first time he said he heard I was from a small town in Texas. He stated that his wife was also from a small town named Bandera. He asked if I ever heard of it.
I kept a poker face and replied, "No, Sir, I don't recognize that small town. I am, however, from a place called Pipe Creek, Texas. The town is so small the city limits are posted on he same post!"
He looked a bit shocked and then gave a great big grin and said, "You do know Bandera!"
I confessed that I graduated from Bandera back in 1968. He mentioned his wife's maiden name "Dugosh."
Then I shocked him once again when I said I graduated with one of her brothers, Roy Dugosh! I could have pushed him over with a feather. That showed us both how small the world is.
Later on, when he became Commander of the 3636CCTW, we had a recall and I will never forget what he did at the briefing room. He said, "Sergeant Jim White, stand up." I thought that I was in big trouble for not shaving that morning. He obviously noticed. He continued, "TSgt White and I are the only ones here that are in proper uniform." His point was during a recall, you get dressed and press on to the base.
I retired a year before he did and I will never forget the time I saw him again. It was during Veterans Day at Alkek Elementary. He was wearing his uniform and so was I. We saw each other and I immediately saluted him and he of course returned the salute. That was a very pleasant surprise.
The photo of him here was taken from the Chicken Car during the 2014 Labor Day parade. It was such a super photo of Col. John R. Goodley, I had to share it with you all.
Col. Goodley passed away 21 Feb 15. God bless you, Sir, rest in peace. TSgt Jim White USAF Ret.