While many Hollywood denizens were putting the finishing touches on their hair and makeup to head out to the Jan. 13 Golden Globes ceremony, filmmaker Judd Apatow was planning a surprise for a wounded OIF/OEF veteran.
On Feb. 20, 2012, Sgt. Michael Goodrich was engaged in a firefight in eastern Afghanistan when a rocket exploded near him, severing his jaw and sending shrapnel into his leg. After almost a year of surgeries and rehabilitation, Sgt. Goodrich can now eat, talk and walk, but treatment is still ongoing. During the weeks he and his family of four were living in Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Apatow’s movies were their go-to choice for distraction from their circumstances.
When Goodrich’s wife, Jacqueline, founder of “The General’s Kids,” a non-profit organization supporting the children of Wounded Warriors, saw Apatow post on twitter the afternoon of the Golden Globes, she contacted him and asked if Apatow would help her celebrate her husband’s 1-year “Alive Day” anniversary. The “Day” commemorates his survival of that firefight. Apatow replied and asked for her email address.
“From that point on I was just giddy,” Jacqueline told Breitbart News. “He’s a busy guy, and even if he had forgotten I could show Michael the tweet and he would know that Judd Apatow, our favorite filmmaker, knew who he was and was thinking of him.”
That evening, Apatow Productions emailed her saying, “Judd would love to send something to help celebrate your husband’s Alive Day.”
Less than a week later, a package arrived for Sgt. Goodrich. It included merchandise from Apatow’s films, such as Pineapple Express, Step Brothers and Funny People, as well as a signed Step Brothers DVD.
“I had asked for an autographed picture,” Jacqueline said.
For me, being the wife and seeing Michael in the hospital at his weakest, it just made my heart feel so light to know that someone that we’ve been such big fans of for so long cared about my husband. He cared enough to go above and beyond. Little things like that remind us during the hard moments of wounded warrior life that it’s worth it. And my tweets to Judd were also to let him know that having laughter in our lives is something we are thankful for. His movies have been played on date nights, lonely deployments, and in our hospital rooms.
“It was wicked cool,” said Sgt. Goodrich. “He has a life, a family, things to do, but he took time out of his schedule to send me a box of really awesome stuff. He doesn’t know me from anyone but he’s my favorite writer/producer/director ever. Getting an Alive Day gift from him was just the coolest experience.”