Joshua Edward Woody was born October 6, 1975 in San Jose, CA. He
was the third of four children born to John and Bernadine Woody and the
attended school through the seventh grade in Los Gatos. Josh made a windmill in
metal-shop while attending school in Los Gatos and won a first place ribbon with
it at the Santa Clara County Fair.
1989 Josh moved to Corning where he entered Maywood Junior High School. He
graduated with the Maywood Class of 1990 and the Corning Union High School Class
While attending Corning
Union High School, Josh lettered in wrestling and football as well as academics.
During his junior year, Josh started working for the Corning McDonalds Store
after school and on weekends when he wasn’t wrestling or playing football. In
a very short time he rose to the position of Maintenance Manager for the three
area McDonalds Stores.
the varsity football team co-captain his senior year. Wearing jersey number 88
Josh, “Woody”, earned a reputation for being an outstanding team player and
leader. Josh was selected to the All-League team his junior and senior years.
Many believe his best performance was during the fall 1993 Corning vs. Foothill
game that earned him a position on the Lions All-Star North team.
practice for the Lions All Star Football Game a north team player, number 54,
was injured and would not be able to play in the game. The north team was in
desperate need of a running back but a running back could not wear number 54.
Josh volunteered to give up his number, the number 88 he wore at Corning,
and take the number 54 so that his former Corning Cardinal teammate, Earl Murr,
could join the team. Earl went on to be selected the MVP of the game in a 44 -
14 north victory. Josh had 4 solo tackles, 4 assists and 1 1/2 QB sacks in the
Josh enlisted in the United
States Air Force March 8, 1995, taking basic training at Lackland Air Force
Base, Texas. Josh then took his advanced training as a F15 Armament Loader at
Shepard Air Force Base, also in Texas. It was while he was stationed at Shepard
AFB that he met his future wife Dawn when he went home with a fellow airman to
Oklahoma. On completion of basic and advanced individual training, the Air Force
assigned him to the 58th Fighter Squadron, 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force
Josh married Dawn Marie
Riniker of Pryor, Oklahoma on February 21, 1996. They established their new home
in Fort Walton Beach, Florida near his duty station at EglIn late
March of 1996 Josh and the 58th Fighter Group were assigned to
Operation SOUTHERN WATCH in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
days before Josh was to return home, On June 25, 1996, a terrorist truck bomb
exploded outside the northern perimeter of Khobar Towers, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia,
a facility housing U.S. and allied forces supporting the coalition air operation
over Iraq, Operation SOUTHERN WATCH.
of the size of the bomb range from the equivalent of 3,000 to more than 30,000
pounds of TNT. The Task Force estimated that the bomb was between 3,000 and
8,000 pounds, most likely about 5,000 pounds. While U.S. Air Force Security
Police observers on the roof of the building overlooking the perimeter
identified the attack in progress and alerted many occupants to the threat,
evacuation was incomplete when the bomb exploded. Josh and eighteen other heroes
were killed in the blast and more than three hundred others were wounded.
The perpetrators escaped.
of Josh’s family and friends had been changed forever. He and the other
eighteen heroes will not be forgotten as their spirits live on in all those who
knew and loved them.