HELENA – On Monday, officials with U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) held a dedication ceremony at the department’s new Helena field office. The ceremony was largely dedicated to Lieutenant Colonel M. Herb Goodwin, to whom an event room in the office is dedicated.
Goodwin, born in Elmira, Canada, was a Canadian-American veteran who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1948 and was one of the original members of the First Special Service Force (FSSF) – a joint Canadian-America unit formed in 1942.
As a member of the FSSF, Goodwin completed training at Fort Harrison, where he is buried alongside his wife.
Eric Morgensen, Goodwin’s great nephew, spoke at Monday’s ceremony and said he considers his great uncle more of a grandfather. Morgensen has made it a goal to keep the memory of his “grandfather” alive.
“He [Goodwin] shared some of the stories of his time in the First Special Service Force with me, and so it became a big deal for me to carry on that legacy when he passed away and share his memory of the First Special Service Force,” Morgensen said.
According to a biography provided by Goodwin’s family, Goodwin led a decorated military career, receiving the Combat Infantryman’s Badge in 2005 and Bronze Star in 2007, as the federal government agreed to award Canadians of the FSSF for their service in the U.S. Military during World World II.
Morgensen and others also remember Goodwin as a fixture of the local community, known for running a convenience store called Herb’s Quick Service in Helena.
Monday’s ceremony also marked the official grand opening of the USCIS Helena office. The office helps facilitate naturalization for non-U.S. citizens. According to USCIS, over the last decade, more than 7.4 million people became naturalized U.S. Citizens.
- Reported by Jacob Fuhrer