Local tradition kicks of 4th of July Celebrations in Sugar Land
4th of July celebrations started early in Sugar Land with the 8th annual Star-Spangled Sing-Along hosted at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The free, public event was led by “Uncle Sam” and featured patriotic songs and tributes to branches of the military. As has become tradition, the event honored a true American Hero, Marine Lance Corporal Jack Goodroe, who served two tours of duty in Iraq.
Born on November 12, 1975 in Albany, Georgia, Goodroe grew up wanting to be in the military. As a young kid he knew he wanted to be a Marine. Goodroe enlisted in the Marine Corp. and was on the “delayed entry list” when 9/11 occurred. When 9/11 happened, Goodroe asked recruiters to start his enlistment sooner. A spot opened up and Goodroe began boot camp in San Diego in December 2001 at the age of 26 years old.
During his second deployment, which began in March of 2004, Goodroe and the Lima Company were stationed in Husayba, Iraq, near the western border of Syria.
On April 4, 2004 Goodroe and his squad of 20 Marines were on foot patrol to locate the launch site of a mortar, which had hit a patrol earlier that day. Goodroe’s platoon had been patrolling eight hours – a full day in the hot Iraq sun. As the evening came, the squad was returning back to base and walking through the market.
Goodroe was approximately 100 yards from their Operating Base, walking in a narrow alley of the market area. There, an IED was hidden in a box of onions against the wall. As Goodroe passed by, the IED was remotely detonated by an insurgent who was nearby watching the platoon.
Goodroe absorbed the entire blast (estimated to be between 60-80mm mortar, specifically targeted to kill infantryman on foot). He was the only one in the alley injured. The marine walking to the left of Goodroe received no injuries. Goodroe shielded the other marine and received the impact of the explosive.
Upon accepting the award presented by David Hruska, Lance Corporal Goodroe said “I am grateful for being able to have served my country and wouldn’t change any of my experiences.”
“This year’s Star-Spangled Sing-Along was a great way for members of our community to come together to celebrate our great nation’s birthday and to say thank you to a hero that selflessly and bravely served his country and fellow man,” said Hruska.
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