From Facebook, a post from YP’s son, Chris Woodul
If you grew up at my house in the 70s and 80s you were always able to hear the stories that my father Jack Woodul, AKA, Youthly Puresome would later share in written form in the HOOK Magazine.These stories were the often times humorous, sometimes somber reflections of what it was like to be a young adventureous warrior that wore Wings of Gold. To me its natural to look at my father and his experiences out on the pointy edge of the spear with wonder and respect, but it has always been a delight to meet new people out there in the real world who would say, “The first thing in Hook I read when it came in was the Youthly Stories”, and often they quoted specific lines or “Youthly-isms” which are a distinctive Lexicon that folks outside of that small microcosm of the warriors have a difficult time understanding. These experiences that my older brother and I grew up listening to allowed us to “see, hear, smell and understand” some of what it was like to be a 22 year old kid sitting on a Navy Aircraft Carrier in a single engine A-4 Skyhawk loaded up with the same firepower of a 10 crewmember B-17 Flying Fortress wielded only 20 some odd years before in WWII. The kind of man who could take this tiny attack plane to the dark green jungles of North Viet Nam and then back to the pitching deck of that same carrier still amazes me. At 22, much less now, I could barely tie my shoes, and yet Jack, and the rest of his brethren were born fighting, and fought not only the enemy with SAMs, AAA and the odd Mig, but Fear, idiodic political and military leadership and the ever present spectre of fate. A look at the loss rate of the F-8 crusader Jet fighter from operational accidents alone is enough to scare off anyone with a brain.
What is harder to translate is how these men, these young educated warriors brought about in regular day to day life as agents of skill and competence. The confidence my father demonstrates every day in all that he does is my touchstone for feeling some sense of order in this very messed up world we live in. He and his kind didnt just do what they did for the Navy (or AF, etc.) But they brought that to thier lives beyond the third wire. His competence as a Captain of an Airliner full of trusting souls for thirty years left its mark over the skies above. Even today, flying with my father is one of my greatest joys, as I can watch his skills learned through 30 plus thousand hours of flight executed with ALL the Right Stuff.
We as a country are lucky to have had men like Jack and his kind doing what they do and did, and god help us when the last real warrior stands down or goes west.
It is difficult to be a true warrior today, but we still breed and field them here. It gave me great satisfaction to tell my dad a report from a young friend of mine who is in an F/A-18 Superhornet Squadron from NAS Lemoore, that a copy of dads reflective and profound story, Keeper of the Flame, hangs in the ready room there, and is well known.
To Jan Jan Jacobs a special thanks for helping with this new website which will help preserve these stories so that others will know and remember.
And to Chris Reilly, please know that you and your kind are the new “Keepers of the Flame” and that the honor and traditions of our fathers are yours to carry on. Pass it on, and also remember and record your history, its in the making right now!