I am proud to be a member of The American Legion. My father, William Wallace Goodwin, was a member from 1932 (or maybe sooner) until his death in 1973. He served in France during World War I with the American Expeditionary Force. In 1932 he attained his [Legion] uniform. He was a loyal member and marched proudly every year on Memorial Day until he was almost 80. When he passed away, he was buried in the uniform he had gotten in 1932.
My father had four daughters and no sons. Imagine how proud he was when my oldest sister Elizabeth joined the Navy WAVES in 1944. She was stationed at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Shortly after, my next-older sister Patricia joined the Army WAC and was stationed at Camp Stoneman in California. The war was over when I graduated high school in 1945. Then in 1953, my youngest sister Glennie – a trained nurse/RN – decided to join the Air Force as a nurse. She was stationed at Forbes Air Force Base in Topeka, Kan.
You can imagine his pride, even more so when I decided to join the Air Force in 1954. I was stationed at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Neb. Even though my father had no sons to serve his country, all four of his daughters did. We were as proud to serve as our father had been, and I know he was proud of us. He brought us up to love our country and leave a legacy for future generations. I am also proud of my sisters; and as a Legionnaire, I am sure he is proud of “the Four Goodwin Girls” even in death. We served our country with love and respect, and our children know this and love us for it.
I marched in the 2010 Memorial Day parade with other women veterans. It was a glorious feeling. That night, my 17-year-old grandson called me on the telephone and said, “Grandma, I want to thank you for serving our country.” This is a story that I never get tired of telling to anyone who listens. Maybe my father feels the same way – I know he is near us somewhere in our world. Thank you, Dad.