Home Life Obituary: Lt. Colonel USAF Retired Jack Garner Woodson

Obituary: Lt. Colonel USAF Retired Jack Garner Woodson


HAUGHTON- Services for Lt. Colonel USAF Ret. Jack Garner Woodson, 82, will be held on Thursday, July 16, 2015 at St. George’s Episcopal Church at 2 pm with Fr. James Flowers officiating. Interment will follow in Hill Crest Memorial Park. There will be a reception prior to the service at St. George’s parish hall at 1:00.

Jack was born November 2, 1932 in Ewing, Texas, and passed away on July 13, 2015 in Bossier City, Louisiana. The family moved from Ewing and settled in Gatesville. Jack and his brothers and sisters grew up as cattle and sheep ranchers, and one of his prime motivations for success in life was to avoid a lifetime of fixing fences.

Jack attended Texas A&M University and was a proud member of the Corp of Cadets. He proudly wore his Aggie ring and considered himself a member of the Aggie family long after his graduation in 1954.

Jack felt lucky to have had a job he loved. As an Air Force pilot, he saw the world. He spent time in Alaska; he flew over North Africa and Russia; he landed in China. He spent the majority of his career flying KC135’s, saying this was “how I made my living.” During the Cuban Missile Crisis, he was able to get lots of airtime because, like always, he was on time for work. The Woodson children certainly learned that punctuality is a virtue. Jack was part of the Green Hornet Special Operations Squadron in Vietnam, a special ops unit that flew helicopter gunships into enemy territory, providing reconnaissance and gunnery support. He flew over 133 missions in Vietnam. After returning from Vietnam, Jack served as Squadron Commander for his helicopter unit at MacDill Air Force Base. His work with young officers earned him the title “Colonel Jack.” He was a decorated officer, earning the Air Force Accommodation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Medal with Six Oak Leaf Clusters, the Distinguished Flying Cross with Three Oak Leaf Clusters, and the National Defense Service Medal with One Bronze Star. He also earned the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, the Air Force Longevity Service Award with Three Oak Leaf Clusters, the Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

After retiring from the Air Force, Jack spent twenty years working for the State of Louisiana in the Employment Services. He believed strongly in the value of work, and it was gratifying to him when he could match the right person to the right job.

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Sean Green is managing editor of the Bossier Press-Tribune.