By Naomi Hatch
Mike Goodwin, Chemical Operations Specialist, CBRN, NCO, 18th Engineer Company, just arrived in Taylor for a 30-day leave with his family.
Goodwin, who just returned from a tour in Afghanistan, said, “My mission was to provide route clearance looking for IED’s (improvised explosive devices) in the Province of Kandahar, District of Panjawai, Afghanistan. “We went out and looked for IED’s, removed them so other NATO forces could go through the villages and conduct missions safely.
“We went with a job to do. We completed our mission. We returned with honor.
“I’m very happy to be in the United States Army,” said Goodwin, noting that he wouldn’t be able to have his four children, Kaylee, Connor, Jasper and Brynlee, without the healthcare the service provides.
Goodwin was born and raised in Safford. Upon graduation from high school, he served a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Chile. He met his wife Lee at Eastern Arizona College.
In 1996 he joined the Army, and served a tour in Iraq from 2006-07. He is stationed at Joint Base Lewis McChord in Washington State, where he will return after his 30-day leave, but in May he will be transferred to Ft. Hood, Texas.
The Goodwin family usually lives on base, but Lee was expecting their fourth child and left Washington on March 16, 2012, to live with her parents, Alvie and Mary McKeever of Taylor, and enjoy the support of family. Mike left for Afghanistan on March 19.
“We survived, thanks to modern technology,” said Lee, noting that sometimes they were able to chat on-line, some days on Skype and Facetime, and sometimes on the telephone.
“Technology is amazing,” she said, recalling that when Brynlee was born in September, Mike was able to get to Facetime in Kandahar and see her just after her birth, which, Mike added, happened very quickly. He had just received word that Lee was in labor and by the time he was able to see her, he also was able to see the baby.
“Chances of deployment are more for those on active duty,” said Goodwin, noting he would like to retire at 45, and they think they’ll live in Texas, where they have a home near Ft. Hood.
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By Naomi Hatch