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Injured Marine Continues Service to Others

By Aquita Brown

“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” This is exactly what Marine Corps veteran Sgt. Andrew Goodrich did when he joined the Marines in 2005, and again when he made the transition to the civilian sector in 2012.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Marine Corps veteran Sgt. Andrew Goodrich, left, stands with a colleague from the National Park Service near the Capitol in Washington, D.C., July 25, 2013. After being injured in 2008, Goodrich was able to continue serving others through the Operation Warfighter program and NPS. Marine Corps courtesy photo

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Goodrich sustained a traumatic brain injury and structural, spinal and nerve damage during a training exercise in 2008 at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C. After his injury, Goodrich wanted to continue his service to others even though he would not be able to remain in the Marine Corps. In 2011, while still on active duty, he learned of an internship through Operation Warfighter at the National Park Service, and he jumped at the opportunity.

From there, his work ethic and connections made it easy for him to accept a full time position as a Ranger in April 2012. Now he works at the Office of Law Enforcement, Security and Emergency Services, with a focus on emergency management, protecting and preserving parklands.

According to Dean Ross, NPS deputy chief for emergency services, it is an easy transition from Marine to Ranger because of the prior training they receive while serving our nation. “[Service members] routinely do well in law enforcement because they are disciplined individuals,” said Ross. “They know the principles of following the chain of command and are highly motivated.”

Goodrich also functions as the wounded warrior liaison for the director of the National Park Service. “I have a great job that aligns with my [ethics],” said Goodrich. He mentors other wounded, ill and injured service members, and dedicates his time coordinating and managing federal internships for them.

“Instead of being a human resources-driven program, [NPS] brings in people who are driven by the requirements of the people they serve,” said Ross. “Human resources is there to fill in the mechanics of our structured program.”

Goodrich has an extensive knowledge of the transition process because he recently went through the same phases at the Marine Corps’ Wounded Warrior Regiment. “I received a lot of transition assistance from the Wounded Warrior Regiment,” said Goodrich. “I had the opportunity to go to resume writing workshops, career fairs to meet new contacts, and I received moral support from the transition cell.”

He continues to take the skills he developed as a Marine and apply them to his civilian position. Goodrich and the NPS recently received special recognition from the U.S. Army and senior staff of the Bethesda-Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, “for outstanding service, support, and dedication in coordinating and managing federal internships for wounded, ill and injured service members.”

“I wanted a lifestyle and career that is about serving other people,” said Goodrich. “That is why I joined the Marines. The same oath I took to become a Marine is the same oath I took as a Ranger.”

He often tells wounded, ill and injured Marines that he encounters, “Rely on you. Take a predetermined amount of time to mourn the loss of your former life and friends. Accept and embrace that you are not who you use to be. Move forward. Don’t think you have to figure out your next move in life immediately, but don’t accept apathy as a lifestyle. Mature, rely and utilize your own sense of ethics.”

The Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment was established in 2007 to assist combat and non-combat wounded, ill, and injured Marines — and sailors attached to or in direct support of Marine units — as they return to duty or transition to civilian life. The Regimental Headquarters, located in Quantico, Va., oversees the operations of two Wounded Warrior Battalions located at Camp Pendleton, Calif., and Camp Lejeune, N.C., as well as multiple detachments in locations around the world.

For more information about the Wounded Warrior Regiment, please call the Sgt. Merlin German Wounded Warrior Call Center 24/7 at 877-487-6299.

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About Edited by Susan Bainbridge

At age 6, Susan was destined to be a journalist and photographer.  In 1980, Susan founded Bainbridge News and The Bainbridge Chronicle Newspaper. Bainbridge News specializes in Military and National Politics, including Military Funerals and Burials and Political Funerals and Burials.  Susan has covered the White House, the Pentagon and Capitol Hill. She has covered every president from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama. Recognized for her versatility, Susan has also covered finance, crime, civil rights events, marches, sports, musical events and more. In 1990, she established Bainbridge Photography, an On-Location photography company. In addition to military and political events, including Military and Political funerals and burials, Bainbridge Photography expanded into covering ALL funerals and burials, receptions, weddings, real estate, inventory, insurance, portrait, head shot, pets, fire and Hazmat.  Miss Bainbridge believes in going the extra mile. "My Clients always come first." In 1980, Susan began her career in Washington, D.C., working for WMZQ Radio as a reporter and guest hostess from 1980 to 1985. Intrigued by radio, Susan wanted to write, freelancing for radio, television and print newspapers, including AP, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The Northern Virginia Sun, The Press-Republican and The Bainbridge Chronicle (established by Susan Bainbridge). In 1986, Susan worked at WDCA-TV Channel 20 as a guest hostess for "Eye On Washington." From 1990 to 1994, Susan reported and anchored for "The Arlington Weekly News." Additionally, she produced a segment for the G. Gordon Liddy Radio Show. A prolific writer, while in high school in 1977, Bainbridge wrote an episode for NBC's "Little House on The Prairie" entitled "Laura's Best Friend." Though the show's producers did not use the script then, NBC producers encouraged Susan to pursue a writing and journalism career. Susan is a member of the National Press Club, the National Press Photographer's Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. Susan Bainbridge's recognitions include from former Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Herbert Walker Bush and Bill Clinton, former First Lady Nancy Reagan, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, the late actor Lorne Greene, among many others. BAINBRIDGE NEWS was founded in 1980 by Susan Bainbridge (a sixth generation writer), a third generation journalist, a first generation photographer and a fourth generation entrepreneur. She is the first generation to establish a news business. Bainbridge News is dedicated in honor of Miss Bainbridge's late grandfather and idol, Mark S. Watson (The Baltimore Sun editor and war correspondent from 1920 to his death in 1966).

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