Marine vet, DeKalb police sgt. named Memorial Day keynote speaker

(From left) DeKalb Deputy Police Chief Jason Leverton, newly promoted DeKalb Police Sgt. Jason Goodwin and DeKalb Police Chief David Byrd pose during Goodwin's promotion ceremony in November 2022. Goodwin was named the 2024 keynote speaker for the DeKalb Memorial Day ceremony, according to the city.

DeKALB – A DeKalb police sergeant and U.S. marine veteran has been named this year’s keynote speaker for DeKalb’s Memorial Day events.

Police Sgt. Jason Goodwin will deliver the keynote speech at the Memorial Day program at the Ellwood House following the downtown parade May 27, according to a Tuesday news release from the city.

The parade honoring the military service members who gave their lives in service to the country will step off at 9 a.m. at North Third and Locust streets downtown. The parade will go west down Locust Street, which was dedicated as DeKalb’s Honorary Veterans Way in 2020. Parade participants will then march north on Linden Place before the parade concludes behind the Ellwood House, 420 Linden Place.

Joining local veterans’ organizations in the parade will be the DeKalb High School Marching Barbs, the Huntley and Clinton Rosette Marching Band, local Cub Scouts and Scouts and more community groups.

Goodwin will speak as part of the Memorial Day program on the Ellwood House lawn at 9:30 a.m.

The program will also include musical numbers performed by Terri Crain Goodman, Ron Lofton, Mark Baldin, Michael Embrey and the Firefighter Highland Guard of DeKalb. Following the program, free first-floor tours of the Ellwood Mansion will be offered. The Memorial Day activities are a collaboration of the city of DeKalb, DeKalb Park District, Ellwood House Museum and local veterans’ organizations.

According to the city, Goodwin served in the Marine Corps from March 2001 to June 2005. Primarily stationed at Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, Georgia, his military occupational specialty was Military Police. After initially performing routine base patrol duties, he was selected for the Criminal Investigation Division, where he conducted felony-level investigations while serving alongside the Naval Criminal Investigation Service, according to the news release. Goodwin reached the rank of sergeant by the end of his active service and was promoted to Staff Sergeant (E-6) while on inactive reserve status.

Among Goodwin’s accolades include the Marine Good Conduct Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal and a Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, along with two Certificates of Commendation and one Meritorious Mass. He also earned Expert Rifleman and Expert Pistol shooting badges. After serving in the Marines, he continued his police career in civil law enforcement.

Goodwin joined the DeKalb Police Department in 2014 and was promoted to sergeant in 2022.

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