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The Mountaineer Online



Fort Drum community honors retiring Soldiers


Col. Patrick Frank, right, 3rd Brigade Combat Team commander, presents a Meritorious Service Medal to Chief Warrant Officer 3 Ailin N. Barron while his Family looks on during a retirement ceremony Aug. 27. Photo by Glenn Wagner.
Col. Patrick Frank, right, 3rd Brigade Combat Team commander, presents a Meritorious Service Medal to Chief Warrant Officer 3 Ailin N. Barron while his Family looks on during a retirement ceremony Aug. 27. Photo by Glenn Wagner.

Paul Steven Ghiringhelli

Staff Writer

Members of the Fort Drum community gathered Aug. 27 at the Multipurpose Auditorium to honor 17 Soldiers whose combined military service to the nation exceeded 358 years.

Col. Patrick Frank, 3rd Brigade Combat Team commander, congratulated the retirees and thanked them and Family Members for their years of dedication and sacrifice.

“As we pause to remember the careers of each retiree, we would be remiss if we did not thank each Family,” Frank said. “The retirees are the strength of our Army; their Families sitting by their sides and in this auditorium are the strength of our nation.

“The Families here today have shouldered the burden of our combat operations, courageously supporting us, and allowing their Soldier to remain focused on the demanding mission at hand,” he said. “The letters, care packages and e-mails always brought a smile to your deployed Soldier. All of us in uniform sincerely thank you for your encouragement and support.”

Frank told audience members that countless acts of commitment and courage marked the service of each retiree. He also said they had helped the U.S. win the Cold War peacefully, free Kuwait from Saddam Hussein, secure a lasting peace in the Balkans, remove oppressive regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq, and dismantle frameworks of terror established in those nations by al-Qaida, the Taliban and Jaysh al-Mahdi insurgents.

“Our retirees today have walked through the history books of the United States,” he said. “We are in awe of their demonstrated bravery on the battlefield and their patriotic commitment to duty.”

The brigade commander said he chatted with retirees before the ceremony to learn about some of their retirement plans. He said in addition to travel, recreation and family time, many of the retirees look to become civic leaders.

“Every Soldier I talked to is committed to providing service to his or her new community,” Frank said. “Their Army values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage will be immediately acknowledged in the volunteer organizations they join.”

Frank concluded the ceremony by honoring the legacy retirees would leave behind.

“Each of you has led, trained and mentored our next generation of U.S. Army Soldiers,” he said. “You have been a contributing member to the greatest military force in history, and you have liberated hundreds of thousands of people from tyranny.

“Be proud of your accomplishments and the Army you have built through hard work.”

 

The following retiring Soldiers each received the Meritorious Service Medal:

* Chief Warrant Officer 3 Ailin N. Barron, 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, retires with more than 20 years of active-duty service. He served overseas in Japan and Korea, and during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Barron will retire in Walden.

* First Sgt. Michele M. Forton, 33rd Finance Maintenance Company, 10th Sustainment Brigade, retires with more than 20 years of active-duty service. She served overseas in Germany and Korea, and during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Forton will retire in Algonac, Mich.

* Master Sgt. Robert L. Marshall, 210th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, retires with more than 20 years of active-duty service. He served overseas in Germany and Belgium, and during Operations Enduring Freedom, Task Force Ramadi and Iraqi Freedom. Marshall will retire in Baltimore.
* Sgt. 1st Class Forkpa M. Akoi, 548th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, retires with more than 20 years of active-duty service. He served overseas in Panama and Korea, and during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Akoi will retire in Hopewell, Va.

* Sgt. 1st Class Sherlonda L. Blue, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, retires with more than 19 years of active-duty service. She served overseas in Korea and Hawaii, and during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Blue will retire in Williamsburg, Va.

* Sgt. 1st Class Timmie L. Briscoe, 2nd Battalion, 15th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, retires with more than 22 years of active-duty service. He served overseas in Korea and Germany, and during Operations Desert Shield / Storm and Iraqi Freedom. Briscoe will retire in Lawton, Okla.
* Sgt. 1st Class Kenneth J. Brown II, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Brigade Combat Team, retires with more than 24 years of active-duty service. He served overseas in Germany, Alaska and Egypt, and during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Brown will retire in Black River.
* Sgt. 1st Class Jonathan D. Cogan, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Garrison, retires with more than 20 years of active-duty service. He served overseas in Germany and Korea, and during Operations Cease Fire, Uphold Democracy and Iraqi Freedom. Cogan will retire in Boston.
* Sgt. 1st Class John Hall, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Garrison, retires with more than 20 years of active-duty service. He served overseas in Germany and during Operations Bosnia, Task Force Eagle and Iraqi Freedom. Hall will retire in Rossie.
* Sgt. 1st Class David Y. Matteo, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, retires with more than 20 years of active-duty service. He served overseas in Korea and Egypt, and during Operations Just Cause and Iraqi Freedom. Matteo will retire in Watertown.
* Sgt. 1st Class Mark E. McLean, 710th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, retires with more than 25 years of active-duty service. He served overseas in Egypt and during Operations Restore Democracy, Restore Hope and Enduring Freedom. McLean will retire in Henderson.
* Sgt. 1st Class Kimberly P. Reese, 548th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, retires with more than 21 years of active-duty service. She served overseas in Germany and during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Reese will retire in Marlow, Okla.
* Staff Sgt. Steven C. Girard, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, retires with more than 23 years of active-duty service. He served overseas in Germany, Korea, Panama and Kuwait, and during Operations Desert Shield / Desert Storm, Intrinsic Action, Joint Endeavor, Joint Forge / Joint Guard, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Girard will retire in Gettysburg, Pa.

 

The following retiring Soldiers each received the Army Commendation Medal:

* Staff Sgt. Michael P. Gibbs, 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, retires with more than 21 years of active-duty service. He served overseas in Korea and during Operations Desert Shield / Desert Storm, Restore Hope, Joint Endeavor and Enduring Freedom. Gibbs will retire in Rome.

* Staff Sgt. John A. Holgerson, 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, retires with more than 23 years of active-duty service. He served overseas in Germany, Honduras and Korea, and during Operations Desert Shield / Desert Storm and Enduring Freedom. Holgerson will retire in Jacksonville, Fla.

* Sgt. Tammara D. Bradley, 548th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, retires with more than 20 years of active-duty service. She served overseas in Korea and during Operations Saudi Arabia and Iraqi Freedom. Bradley will retire at Fort Drum.

* Sgt. Paul T. Brownlee, 10th Sustainment Brigade Troops Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, retires with more than 20 years of active-duty service. He served overseas in Germany and Korea, and during Operations Desert Shield / Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom. Brownlee will retire in St. Louis.

 

Each retiree also received an Army retirement pin, a U.S. flag and a letter of appreciation from the commanding general.





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