ARLINGTON CEMETERY, VA — Across the Potomac River, away from the chaos in Washington, an American hero was quietly laid to rest.
Army Green Beret Sgt. 1st Class Michael James Goble, 33, was buried Thursday at the cemetery’s Section 60, surrounded by several hundred family members and friends.
Just days before Christmas, Goble gave his last full measure of devotion while serving in Afghanistan. It was his eighth deployment and second to Afghanistan.
He left behind his long-time partner Jennifer Albuquerque and their six-year-old daughter Zoe. He also left behind loving parents and many dear friends, who came to pay their final respects.
Dozens of Green Berets attended the services, including the leaders of 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne).
President Donald Trump sent National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien to attend on his behalf. Goble was an ardent Trump supporter.
The services began at the historic Old Post Chapel on Joint Base Meyer-Henderson Hall, where so many had come to honor Goble that the pews were filled and Green Berets stood lined along the back and side walls of the chapel.
His best friends recalled Goble as wise beyond his years, a captain of his own ship, the first one to take on any challenge.
They also said he loved to help people. His favorite saying was, “No big deal.”
A chaplain recalled the words of President John F. Kennedy’s 1961 inaugural address: “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”
“While many learn this famous maxim, how many live accordingly? Michael did,” he said.
Goble was carried by horse-drawn caisson to Arlington Cemetery’s Section 60, where Afghanistan and Iraq War veterans fill the rows. A long procession of cars followed behind.
After a 21-gun-salute, the Special Forces Prayer was recited:
Almighty God, Who art the Author of liberty and the Champion of the oppressed, hear our prayer.
We, the men of the Special Forces, acknowledge our dependence upon Thee in the preservation of human freedom.
Go with us as we seek to defend the defenseless and to free the enslaved.
At the time of his death, Goble was assigned to 1st Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
After the funeral, guests were invited back to their cars. But instead, they gathered close together to remember Goble under the sunny January sky.
Earlier in the day, first responders lined up to wish him a final goodbye as his casket was escorted from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to Arlington:
Thank you Green Beret SFC Goble, your service and sacrifice to our great Nation will not be forgotten. Rest well warrior… pic.twitter.com/g4Ztjjl2Hr
— Anne Arundel Police (@AACOPD) January 9, 2020