Terry Woods with his son Kevin and grandson Dylan.

There should be little surprise that Terry Woods is a man of honor and allegiance, with a solid commitment to his country and all those around him. 

After all, he is a decorated Brigadier General in the Air National Guard and spent an illustrious 27-years in the military, flying as a transport and tanker navigator for ten years and advocating for Air National Guard causes at the Pentagon after that. He says he only planned to serve six years.

“My dad was a WWII vet and influenced my decision to join the military, but I never dreamed I’d become a General. He did it, so I decided I’d do it,” Woods recalled. “My brother also served, so I guess you could call us a military family.”

The influence transcends generations, because Terry’s oldest son, Tim, still serves in the Arizona Army National Guard as Deputy Brigade Commander of the 98th Aviation Troop. (See last month’s Meet Mr. column)

Tim says his dad is his mentor and hero, and Terry says the same of his father. The mutual admiration up and down the Woods family tree, and their love of country, is as evident as it is sincere. 

“The military teaches you a lot about yourself and serving others,” Woods said, “and some form of service, whether it be military or Peace Corps or volunteerism, should be mandatory.”

Woods walks the talk as he continues to find ways to give back. These days he juggles an active law practice with his long-standing baseball coaching and referee roles. “My son, Kevin, coaches his son at Sunnyslope High School, so I’m both coach and grandfather on the squad,” he said.

One of five kids who moved to the Valley from Rochester, New York, Woods attended St. Francis  Elementary School, Brophy, and then U of A, majoring in Greek and Latin. 

“Phoenix is truly a land of opportunities where people can accomplish almost anything,” he said. 

Woods has worked 48 years as a civil defense attorney and this month will be inducted into the Maricopa County Bar Association’s Hall of Fame. “All I ever hoped for was to be regarded as a good lawyer.” Clearly, he has achieved that goal. 

Terry and his wife, Linda, just celebrated their golden wedding anniversary, and he says that she, not he, deserves any congratulations on reaching that milestone. “For me, it was easy because she’s a nice girl, but I can be challenging to manage,” he admitted with a grin.

Asked about the formula for a long-lasting marriage and he said, “Remembering the commitment you made and then honoring it. We made a deal, and a deal is a deal.” 

He says he and his wife love living in Arcadia, sharing the trees and green lawns with great neighbors and family. “The formula for a happy life is pretty simple. Marry forever, make church a part of your life and have at least one family meal each day.” 

Woods says he plans to still be on the baseball field coaching when he is 80, and no one that knows him doubts his conviction. With a twelfth grandchild on the way, there are many more dugout lessons to share.

“Everyone knows I’m going to be buried in a uniform. It’s just a matter of which one.” 

General Woods will always be known as a dedicated soldier, husband, father, grandfather, and coach.