ELOY, Ariz. —Nathan Goodman traveled the world over dozens of deployments, taking on all kinds of dangerous missions, until a training exercise in Arizona tragically cost the life of one of Lansing’s very own.
Master Sgt. Nathan Goodman, 36, was killed during free-fall training in Arizona. Free-falling is when soldiers jump from an aircraft and delay opening their parachutes.
Goodman was a 17-year veteran who had been on eight deployments overseas, including five in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Staffers at Goodman’s former high school, Thornton Fractional South High School, remember the determined young student who would come back to say hello to his old teachers and friends.
They say he was much too modest to tell others about his extraordinary exploits as a Green Beret on multiple deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq and other hotspots. Not to mention his Bronze Star for bravery and other service metals.
“He was the type of kid that knew he wanted to go into the Armed Forces. That that was his direction. That was his calling,” said Bob Padjen, Thornton Fractional South High School.
Flags are at half staff at Thornton Fractional and across Lansing, Illinois, including the home where Goodman’s father lives. Family members are headed to a funeral service in Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
He leaves behind a wife and two children. In a Facebook post, Goodman's wife Kelly said he broke his back on the exact same day, January 14, seven years ago. "This day is cursed to me," she wrote.
Army officials said the death is under investigation.
Goodman's passing is the third death of a Chicago-area soldier in less than two weeks.
Private First Class Miguel Villalon, 21, from Aurora was killed January 11. He was in a vehicle that was struck by an IED in the Kandahar providence. On January 5, Army Specialist Henry Mayfield Jr., 23, of Hazel Crest was killed during an attack in Kenya.