Pool named for beloved community member

By Angie ThorneOctober 30, 2023

Pool named for beloved community member
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The Guess Family is overcome with emotions as they view the plaque designating the Fort Johnson 50-meter pool to Sgt. 1st Class Guess Jr. Pool. (Photo Credit: Angie Thorne) VIEW ORIGINAL
Pool named for beloved community member
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Alice Guess stands next to the plaque honoring her husband. (Photo Credit: Angie Thorne) VIEW ORIGINAL
Pool named for beloved community member
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Pool staff stand in front of the new sign. (Photo Credit: Angie Thorne) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT JOHNSON, La. — Fort Johnson renamed its 50-meter pool in honor of Sgt. 1st Class Madison Guess Jr. Pool during a ceremony Oct. 17. 

In addition to Fort Johnson leadership, distinguished guests and members of the Fort Johnson community, the Guess Family, including Madison’s spouse, Alice, and his three children, were in attendance.  

Guess retired from Fort Polk in 2003 after a 22-year Army career. Not long after, he was employed at the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation as the 50-meter pool program manager, a fitting job for the former collegiate swimmer. He held that position for more than 20 years. In that time he touched the lives of countless Soldiers, civilians and their Family members. After fighting a battle with cancer, Guess passed away June 2.

Fort Johnson garrison commander, Col. CJ Lopez opened the ceremony by telling the audience they were gathered to rename the pool to honor the legacy of retired Sgt. 1st Class Madison Guess Jr. by not only acknowledging his extraordinary military service, but also his dedication to nurturing and empowering Fort Johnson youth.

“Over the years Madison selflessly dedicated his time and expertise to training and mentoring countless young adults who have become contributing members of our community today. He not only imparted the necessary skills for a life saving profession, but also instilled the values of compassion, teamwork and courage to each and every one of them,” Lopez said. “By renaming this pool after Sgt. 1st Class Guess, we pay homage to his life of service, the love he had for his country and his determination to inspire and mold the next generation. This dedication reflects not only his devotion to the Army but also his enduring legacy in the realm of swimming.”

Alice Guess also said a few words at the ceremony. She began by thanking all of those who made the renaming possible and thanked all who spoke such kind words about her husband.

“It has been a bittersweet day. This is an honor, not just because this pool is now named for him, but also because it’s his birthday today,” Guess said. “What better day to celebrate? He was a good-hearted man and he is truly missed. It is an honor for my Family to see his legacy continue by having the pool named for him.”