A1C, US AIR FORCE
Airmen 1st Class Joshua E. Woody Corning, California, Eglin AFB, Florida.
Khobar Towers near Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, a terrorist attack that killed 19 airmen.
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 first son.
He 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.
During 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 of 1994.
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.
Josh was 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.
Early in 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 game.
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 Base, Florida.
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.
In late March of 1996 Josh and the 58th Fighter Group were assigned to Operation SOUTHERN WATCH in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
Just two 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.
Estimates 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.
The lives 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.
Survivors include his wife, Dawn Woody of Fort Walton Beach, FL; mother and stepfather, Bernadine and George Beekman of Kennesaw, GA; father and stepmother, John and Carol Woody of Corning, CA; brothers Timothy Woody of Corning, CA and John Edward Woody, Jr. of Chicago, IL; sisters, Tracy Marie Smith of Kennesaw, GA, Jonica Lynn Woody of Crofton, MD, and Cindy Lee Woody of Chicago, IL.
The book "Remembering Joshua" is now available as a downloadable Adobe PDF document. The book is dedicated to the memory of Airman 1st Class Joshua Edward Woody and the 18 other airmen who lost their lives in the Khobar Towers Bombing and is based on the "joshuawoody.com" web site.
**Special thanks to Find A Grave contributor, Becky Hice for fulfilling my photo request for Joshua Woody.
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