Guard unit honors

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 12, 2000


life of a soldier


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Features Editor

Nov. 11, 2000 10 PM

When Janice Gordon’s life ended in April, 2000, she left many friends behind.

Among those friends were the members of the 900th Maintenance Division of the Alabama National Guard in Brundidge. The entire division was shocked and saddened by her death.

Gordon had made a place for herself among the guardsmen. There will always be a void left by her passing.

SFC Charles Taylor, readiness NCO for the 900th, said the guard wants to keep the memory of Janice Gordon alive.

"Janice was a very special person and she is missed by all of us," Taylor said. "She will be remembered for a long time."

At their October meeting, the 900th Maintenance Division joined Gordon’s mother and step-father, Carol and Ted Wielicki of Pennsylvania in a memorial service for her.

"Her mother contacted us and said that she would like to plant a tree here in memory of Janice and asked how we felt about her doing it," Taylor said. "She knew how much the guard had meant to Janice and I told her how much Janice meant to the guard and that we would be honored to have a

memorial to her on the grounds."

Gordon had been on active duty with the Army for eight years when she decided she wanted to go to college and get a commission. She went off active duty and enrolled at Troy State University and in the ROTC program there.

"Janice was involved in what we call a simultaneous membership," Taylor said. "She was in ROTC at Troy State and also a member of the 900th Maintenance Division. She joined us in August, 1998, and she was a good soldier and a popular member of our division."

Taylor said Gordon’s plans were to graduate from Troy State and then go back on active duty.

"She was planning to make the Army her career," he said. "She was so close to graduation and to the receiving her commission, only a few weeks away. What happened that caused her not to want to live – I just don’t know. It was a shock and it hurt."

Taylor said the circumstances surrounding Gordon’s death did not diminish the impact she had on the lives she touched.

"Janice was the very best at everything she did. She was a jewel," he said. "That’s the only way I can describe her and that’s the way I’ll always remember her. I think everyone who knew her feels the same way. The memorial will keep Janice Gordon in our thoughts. She is the kind of person who should not be forgotten."

Gordon’s parents also made a monetary donation to the 900th Maintenance Division and it will be used to erect a

brick unit sign in front of the national guard armory on Highway 231 in Brundidge.

The sign will also be a memorial to Janice Gordon – a good soldier and a good friend.