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September 2nd, 2015

In August 2008, I received the endorsement of Navy CHINFO Rear Admiral Frank Thorpe, IV for my Katrina response research project; which went on to be called The Contraflow Project. My Navy interviews started with Lieutenants and went all the way up to Vice Admiral Nora Tyson, who commanded the USS Bataan off the coast of Louisiana during Katrina. I caught her on leave in Bangkok in July ’09. We had a great conversation. Well, we had a great interview, for I hardly speak during these sessions. I learned early on in Sept. ’05 not to interrupt Katrina survivors or responders as they share their experiences. Depending on their perspective during the disaster, they were either reliving trauma of reliving drama. Anyways, at the end of our interview VADM Tyson says to me, “Mr. Woods, I’m not exactly sure what it is that you’re doing, but I think I like it!”

Well, all that Navy talk got me to thinking about my days of service during the 1980/81 BOOST (Broadened Opportunity for Officer Selection and Training) Class at NTC San Diego. Two years ago, I got it in my mind to start tracking down fellow Boosters. I located Naval Academy Class of ’85 Mario Maddox in Atlanta, who co-authored a thesis on the BOOST Program. He was a wealth of information and support. With this being the second decade of the 21st Century, you know he directed me to Facebook. The below six images of fellow Boosters/Veterans are all personal Facebook Friends of mine. I thank God for this new technology, this social algorithm of connections, histories and friendships.

Katrina Responders

Algiers Point Ferry Terminal

As I told USMC Colonel Goddard (retired), my post-BOOST life took me down a road on a career path of social causes and service to my communities. I really have to thank Brent, though, for digging through thirty-plus years of his personal Navy and Marine Corps “stuff” to locate our BOOST Class of 1981 Yearbook; a publication I had been searching for since my interview with VADM Tyson.

Go VolsExquisite LiferThe ColonelInterviews & NewsclippingsInterviews & NewsclippingsInterviews & Newsclippings

Now that I have the yearbook scanned and archived, my future plans include writing book about the Class of ’81. I hope to interview (First row: l to r) Anthony Adams, Tonya Anderson, Brent Goddard, (Second row: l to r) Mark Rubino, David Thiruselvam and M. Darryl Woods, sometime early next year. And, if I can get the time, I’d like to work on a 35-year anniversary BOOST class reunion in June ’16. We have been tossing around New Orleans as a possible venue. BOOST was defining moment in my life. I am who I am today because of my year with two hundred-plus genius young men women from all across America (and from across the fleet) who were destined to go out and change the world. I am M. Darryl Woods.


M. Darryl Woods, Lead Researcher
The Contraflow Project

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