Anthony L. Goodwin – Staff Sergeant, United States Marine Corps

NEWS RELEASE from the United States Department of Defense
No. 463-05
May 11, 2005

DoD Identifies Marine Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a Marine who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Staff Sergeant Anthony L. Goodwin, 33, of Mount Holly, New Jersey, died May 9, 2005, from enemy small-arms fire while conducting combat operations in the vicinity of Al Qaim, Iraq.  He was assigned to 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Friday, May. 13, 2005

A Marine to the end

South Jersey family mourns a son killed in Iraq
By Frank Kummer
Courtesy of the Philadelphia Inquirer

Anthony Goodwin was still playing Pop Warner football and Little League when he had already decided what he wanted to be: a U.S. Marine.

He joined the ROTC as a high school freshman in the 1980s near San Antonio, Texas; his family moved to South Jersey just a few years later.

No matter, said Paul Cheney, Goodwin’s father, at his home in Westampton. His son, killed Monday in Iraq, always felt his true home would be anywhere the Marines took him.

“He always intended to be a Marine,” Cheney said yesterday. “He felt it was a noble and just career. He truly felt he was helping the Iraqi people.”

Goodwin, 33, a married father of two, died from small-arms fire in combat near Al Qaim. A Staff Sergeant, he led an infantry unit patrolling western Iraq.

Goodwin’s mother, Brenda, is already at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, staying with her son’s widow, Kimberly, and the couple’s daughter, Alyssa, and son, Oury.

Goodwin has a brother, Gregory, just shy of a year younger, who lives in Florence.

A viewing is set for 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Jones Funeral Home in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Burial is to be 3 p.m. Tuesday at Arlington National Cemetery.

Goodwin was born in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. He grew up mostly in Texas until Cheney moved the family to New Jersey for a better job.

The family settled in split-level home on Holly Lane in Westampton in the late 1980s. Goodwin attended Rancocas Valley High School in Mount Holly, and was gearing up for early admission to the military.

In all, he lived in Westampton for about 18 months.

Goodwin had recently signed up for a fourth tour in the Marines, his father said.

“He’s highly decorated,” Cheney said. “He did Kuwait, the Gulf War, then, of course, he did this last war. He served three tours in Iraq.”

Goodwin had lived the last 17 years just outside Camp Lejeune.

He received numerous awards, including two combat-action ribbons. Among other honors, he was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Kuwaiti Liberation Medal from Saudi Arabia, three Southwest Asia Service Medals, a Good Conduct Medal, and two certificates of commendation.

Goodwin was assigned to his current unit in February 2004 with a mission to “disrupt terrorist activities” and “conduct patrols to prevent insurgents from developing strongholds,” a military spokesman said.

Karol Vengen, who lives next to Goodwin’s parents, said she used to see Goodwin all the time and played cards with him and his family.

“Tony was a good kid,” Vengen recalled. “He kept to himself and did his own thing. He was here visiting not long ago, and his wife was here with him at Christmas.”

The members of his family learned of Goodwin’s death when neighbors told them that Marines had been looking for them. Cheney said he knew right then the news was bad.

“There are only two things they would want: to say he was severely injured or dead,” Cheney said. “We took it as anyone would take it – it’s a severe loss. I have an empty heart.”

He added: “What do they say? Once a Marine, always a Marine.”

Friday, May 13, 2005
Courtesy of the Courier-Post

Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Anthony L. Goodwin fought to go back to Iraq, family members said Thursday.

“His life was his service,” said his father, Paul Cheney. “He felt the people of Iraq needed him. I’m proud to have him as a son.”

The highly decorated Goodwin, a former Westampton Township resident, was on his second tour of duty in Iraq when he was killed by enemy small-arms fire Monday. He was on a combat mission to disrupt terrorist activities near Al Qaim, Marine Corps officials said. He had arrived in February for a 14-month deployment.

Cheney said Goodwin’s funeral will be Monday in North Carolina, where he was stationed at Camp Lejeune and lived with his wife, Kimberly; daughter, Alyssa, 15, and son, Oury, 5.

He will buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia later in the week and he will be awarded the Purple Heart, said his sister-in-law, Laurie Goodwin.

“He was a Marine through and through,” said Laurie Goodwin, 34, inside her Florence Township home.

Goodwin, 33, was born in Massachusetts and lived in San Antonio with his father before coming to Westampton Township to live with his mother and stepfather in a brick split-level on Holly Lane.

Laurie Goodwin said Anthony and his brother Gregory, 32, both attended Rancocas Valley High School but Anthony returned to Texas to finish high school.

Mathilde Vengen, 67, lives next door to Anthony Goodwin’s former home on Holly Lane and said she saw two Marines at the home earlier this week.

“I knew right away,” said Vengen. “I told my daughter that it has to be Tony.”

A Blue Star banner, which signifies a family member is serving in the Armed Forces, hung in the picture window of Goodwin’s former residence. Vengen said Goodwin’s mother had gone to North Carolina to visit her daughter-in-law and grandchildren before her son’s death.

Goodwin enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1989 and served in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. After the Gulf War, he served in a number locations, including Angola and the Balkans, and he served as a trainer and instructor.

In January 2003, Goodwin reported to the 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Division as a platoon sergeant, shortly before deployment with the II Marine Expeditionary Force for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In March 2004, he was moved to 2nd Marine Regimental Training Center to serve as the chief instructor for the regiment.

He returned to Iraq in February.

“He knew this would be the most dangerous mission,” said Cheney.

According to Second Lieutenant Barry Edwards, a spokesman for the 2nd Marine Division, Goodwin’s unit “conducted patrols to prevent insurgents from developing strongholds in the remote cities of western Iraq.”

Goodwin received more than two dozen medals and commendations while in the Marine Corps, including two Combat Action ribbons, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medal, three Sea Service Deployment ribbons, and Kuwait Liberation medals for both Kuwait and Saudi Arabia from Operation Desert Storm in 1991.

Goodwin is the 14th service member from the tri-county area who has died since American forces invaded Afghanistan and Iraq.

Laurie Goodwin said both her husband and her brother-in-law knew Army Spc. Bryan Freeman Jr. from high school.

Freeman, a 1991 graduate of Rancocas Valley, was killed by small-arms fire in Baghdad on November 8, 2004.

Laurie Goodwin said her husband, who served eight years in the Army, is devastated at the loss of his older brother.

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  • DATE OF BIRTH: 05/28/1971
  • DATE OF DEATH: 05/08/2005

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