HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The late Maj. Michael Goodridge will be one of the new names in the Madison County Military Heritage Commission’s Hall of Heroes this year. We won’t get to honor him face-to-face, but Goodridge’s mother is delighted to accept the award for her son.
Maj. Goodridge served in the US Army for 14 years before tragedy struck his family on Veteran’s Day in 2000.
“He died on Active Duty,” Julie Goodridge, the soldier’s mother, said. “The whole family was on a ski trip with a ski club to Kaprun, Austria and there was a cable train fire accident. Over 155 people died from smoke inhalation. So, I lost the whole family.”
Maj. Goodridge, his wife and children died that day. Now, his mother tells her son’s story of heroism.
“His first assignment was in Germany and that’s where he received the Soldier’s Medal,” Goodridge said. “He was only a second lieutenant, had been in the Army maybe a year, I think it was 1987. He was coming home from work in Germany and he saw people along the side of the road. So, he stopped and nobody was doing anything, and he saw a van that was tipped over in flames. So, he went running out there, and what I’ve read is, he saw these hands. So, he pulled a man out of the van and he took off his military shirt and wrapped him in it.”
That’s only one tale of many this proud mother could share.
“He was very loyal to his troops,” Goodridge said. “He would defend anyone that he thought was in the right.”
Even in death, this soldier is still making his family proud. Goodridge is an inductee into the Madison County Hall of Heroes this year.
“I believe he would be very honored,” Goodridge said.