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Goodine tribute is Saturday

By Sherri Ellington A tribute for fallen soldier Pfc. Brandon D. Goodine ‘“ which will also serve as a fund-raiser for his family ‘“ is expected to have the parking lots of JB’s Bar and Grill at the truck stop complex at I-75 and Kickstands Bar and Grill in High Falls filled with motorcyclists all day long on Saturday, June 30. Concerts, live broadcasts, bike washes, raffles and an auction will begin at 9 a.m. at JB’s, then move to Kickstands near High Falls State Park at 1 p.m. Activities ‘“ which are still being arranged ‘“ will continue there until 11 p.m. ’It’s blossoming out and getting bigger and bigger, better than a couple of old redneck guys thought we could do,’ said organizer Doug Stone of Lamar County, a Vietnam veteran who, along with fellow organizer Ed Brooks, a Desert Storm vet, have found themselves inundated with calls from media and motorcycle groups all over the state. Goodine, 20, who had ties to this area but lived in Luthersville, was killed in action on June 7 in Maiwand, Khandar Province, Afghanistan. He and his unit, the 4th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, Fourth Brigade Combat Team of the 82nd Airborne Division based in Fort Bragg, N.C., were attempting to root out Taliban insurgents from a small village when Goodine was struck down by an improvised explosive device. He died as he was being airlifted out via helicopter, Brooks said his general told the family. ’The first time I ever saw Brandon he was hauling down the street in a go-kart and doing doughnuts in the cul-de-sac,’ said Brooks, whose family lived next door to the Goodines when they moved to the same McDonough subdivision in 2001. ‘He was fearless, but he was such a crackup. He became the man of the house when he was about 12. He was a great kid and a greater man. We’re proud of him.’ Goodine, who began his first tour of duty in Afghanistan in October, left behind his mother Mandy, wife Nicole, daughter Katie and two sisters. His brother Christopher Goodine is also serving in the military. All monies raised by the event will go into a trust fund for the family. His military awards include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with campaign star, the Global War on Terror Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Combat Infantryman’s Badge and the Parachutist Badge. With up-and-coming singer Jennifer Fleming, a comedian and a live deejay from WBAF in Barnesville already signed up, organizers are in need of more entertainers, especially bands of all genres, to keep the crowds entertained during the day and sponsors to offer more raffle and auction items, such as the Braveheart sword someone donated from California and the goods from Summit Racing and Budweiser that have already been collected. As large as the event has become, they hope to make it an annual event to help the families of fallen soldiers. ’If we could do something for every soldier we would but Brandon is close to our hearts,’ said Brooks. ‘He turned 20 on May 16. Our son Dylan, his best friend, is in basic training and doesn’t even know he’s dead yet.’ For information or to help call Stone at 404-569-6801 or Brooks at 404-583-8750.

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