A Tribute To Senior Airman Ashton Goodman
(June 3, 2009)
Senior Airman Ashton Goodman enjoyed interacting with and learning from Panjshir's women. She served as a member of the Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team's women's affairs committee and regularly organized events and projects to directly improve the quality of life of Afghan women. Airman Goodman lost her life May 26,
2009 from wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device.
||BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan (5/29/2009 - AFNS)
On May 26, Senior Airman
Ashton Goodman and Lt. Col. Mark E. Stratton II, the commander of the Panjshir
Provincial Reconstruction Team, were killed near here from of wounds sustained
from an improvised explosive device.
The Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team's main project has been the
construction of a $28 million road connecting Panjshir to the Badakhshan
province, as well as all neighboring
Over the past few weeks, this senior airman on the verge of becoming a
non-commissioned officer seemed to transform in front of her teammate's eyes.
Everyone already knew that Airman Goodman was a capable vehicle operator.
|provinces. Airman Goodman supported countless
engineering missions to the province's most northern and remote
district of Paryan where the final leg of the 80-mile road is
presently under construction.
It seems, though, that as her tour on Panjshir's Provincial Reconstruction Team
came to an end, she still had a few things left on her to-do list. |
Over the past month, Airman Goodman, an aspiring writer and photographer,
volunteered to work in the public affairs office. Eager to tell her team's
story, she penned her first news story and quickly found herself published on
the Air Force Web site. She also channeled her passion and creativity every day
for two weeks into producing the team's yearbook. Within days of launching an
impressive advertising campaign, she had books sold to nearly everyone she came
into contact with.
As a 21-year-old young woman, Airman Goodman also found herself in a unique
position mentoring the province's female Afghan leadership. During weekly
meetings with the Director of Women's Affairs, she advanced the economic and
social development of women in Panjshir.
On May 18, she led the tremendous undertaking to deliver much-needed food and
house supplies to more than 100 poor women. As the group drove up the narrow,
steep, winding road to the village, she beamed with excitement over the chance
to personally help these women.
Over the next few days, leading into Memorial Day weekend, she'd go on to mingle
with female teachers during a "Teacher's Day" celebration, participate in a
women's shura (meeting), attend a photography exhibit at Ahmad Shah Massoud's
tomb where she saw Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, one of the country's presidential
candidates and sample freshly made ice cream in a local bazaar.
Her contributions to this team are countless and now, as I look at the empty
desk next to me in the small office I shared for the past month with Airman
Goodman, I smile when I think about the past month I shared with her and the
impact she made on Panjshir Province. Her vivacious spirit, zest of life, and
eagerness to experience it all will forever be remembered by our team.
Article and photo by USAF Capt. Stacie N. Shafran
Panjshir Provincial Reconstruction Team Public Affairs
Air Force News Service
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