In Memory of A1C Justin R. Wood
A1C Justin R. Wood
Hometown: Modesto, California
loadmasters affectionately referred to Senior Airman Justin Woods as
"Junior” because the 20-year-old was the youngest member of the
joined the 71st Rescue Squadron Jan 5, 1995. He was the first
active-duty loadmaster to go from civilian to fully qualified
loadmaster, a job normally reserved for experienced personnel. He was on
his second deployment to Saudi Arabia and two weeks shy of his 21st
birthday. He packed a lot in his 21 years, flying 34 combat missions,
and his actions contributed to the squadron being credited with saving
members say Woods is the guy who kept everyone laughing with his Jim
Carrey “Ace Ventura” impressions.
was always on, according to Master Sgt. Julien Johnson. “He was just
like a puppy. The energy he gave off to the rest of the squadron was uplifting,” said Johnson, a fellow loadmaster. “There wasn’t a
down side to Justin. He was full of energy. He could put a smile on
the hard part for his buddies in Dormitory 506, said Senior Airman Robert
Carden, who was Woods fellow loadmaster and dorm neighbor.
are like a family. He was always making everyone laugh. He was the
happiest person I knew,” said Carcieri.
couldn’t walk by him without cracking a smile,” said Johnson. “The
only time I ever saw him down was when he fell in love with Pocahontas
at Disney World.”
that was Junior being Junior, Johnson said. “He was always moving,
doing something. Once, we were in Las Vegas and he won $90 at a nickel
slot machine. When they (casino officials) found out he wasn’t 21, he
was asked to leave the premises and not come back.”
was cool with Junior. He took the money, bought inline skates and spent
the rest of the time skating there.
“That just the way he was,” said Johnson. “He was an entertainer. I still can’t believe he’s gone.
Visit Justin's Web Site at http://www.62596.com
The above article was written by Lynda Valentine, 45th Space Wing Public Affairs, Patrick AFB, FL.