Orange Gooding

Sergeant First Class
Army of the United States
27 March 1928 - 07 March 1969
Norfolk, Virginia
Panel 30W Line 064


CIB (2nd Award)

Good Conduct, National Defense, Korean Service, Vietnam Service, UN Service, RoK War Service, RVN Campaign

The database page for Orange Gooding

14 Jan 1999

Orange Gooding was my "Sarge" in Basic Training at Fort Polk, Louisiana, in September of 1965. He demanded a lot from all of us ... and I was one of the draftee "screw-ups" that he was forced to administer to on a daily basis.

I can still see him laughing as I would "drop and start doing pushups" any time he came in my sight. He would always stop and say, "Frost ... what you doing, boy?" To which I'd respond... "Just doing pushups 'cause I know you'll find a reason in just a few seconds, Sarge." He'd start laughing (trying to hide it) and tell me in his sternest voice, "Frost, you gonna have me up for manslaughter, boy!"

Orange was a fair and honest man doing his very best to see that all us new recruits learned what we needed to know in order to come home from Viet Nam.

I'm sure that through his efforts, Sargeant Gooding did just that. I know his knowledge and skills helped me many times throughout my tour of duty.

I'll never forget Orange sitting on my bunk the last night of basic, crying and sharing his bottle with me. That's how he felt about his boys being sent off to war. Luckily, I came back along with most of my group from Basic.

I was shocked and upset to learn of Sergeant Gooding's death just last year (1997) as I went online with the Viet Nam Memorial. I got out my old Fort Polk D/2/5 Annual, looked at Orange's photo and cried most of the evening. Orange was bigger than life and always seemed invincible to me - we lost a brave warrior and a good man.

I am proud to have known Orange, and I admired him all those years ago in the heat of Louisiana and I will always remember him with nothing but great fondness and respect.

I went to the "Wall" last year and found his name.
I did the right thing.
I dropped and gave him 20.

Tom Frost
205th Ord. Plt. (1st Cav support)
July '66-July '67 An Khe, RVN

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend,
Tom Frost 
14 Jan 1999

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 05/05/2004