Garrett Goodwin is a former Army Combat Medic with over 20 years of military and civilian rescue mission experience. Garrett’s impressive career experience includes local state and federal assignments.
Garrett has been responding to disasters since he was 17 years old. With his respective skillset and experience in urban search and rescue and disaster response, Garrett has had his boots on the ground as a First Responder at just about every type of natural disaster imaginable; fires, earthquakes, tornados, floods and hurricanes including Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
In March of 2014, Garrett found himself on a flight mid-air from Tampa to Phoenix, his actions that day saved the life of a 15-month-old baby boy who had stopped breathing.
Garrett is one of the few First Responders who worked at both The Pentagon and at the World Trade Center immediately after the attacks on 9/11. Having worked at Ground Zero for almost a month following 9/11, breathing in the asbestos, pulverized concrete and other toxins in the dust, Garrett’s health started declining almost immediately. Days after speaking at a 9/11 Ceremony in 2015, Garrett was again hospitalized for several weeks. Where in addition to his current 9/11 related diagnoses of COPD, Asthma and PTSD he was diagnosed with Transient Pulmonary Hypertension. Soon after that disabling diagnosis, Garrett urgently went to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. While there, undergoing further testing and treatment, Garrett was still bringing awareness to the needs of 9/11 First Responders that were not being met.
When the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act that took care of First Responders at 9/11 was set to expire, Garrett jumped into action. The reality that nearly 72,000 Americans with 9/11 related illnesses, himself included, would be left without health care or medical monitoring was unacceptable to Garrett. As Garrett said in an interview, he could not stand to see his First Responder Family crying on national TV and had to do something about it. Garrett immediately flew to Washington D.C. and alongside other 9/11 First Responders, was successful in getting Congress to pass legislation to make the World Trade Center Health Program permanent and to provide medical treatment to these heroes.
Garrett’s limitless passion to help others is what keeps him going and is the driving force for the American Heros Foundation. His continued work with numerous Military and First Responder non-profit organizations combined with his extensive relative career history has set the cornerstone of the foundation as thriving being the only option.