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The Mountaineer Online



Fort Drum community honors retiring Soldiers


Col. Samuel E. Whitehurst, 3rd Brigade Combat Team commander, presents the Legion of Merit to Command Sgt. Maj. Leonard C. Kuhlenschmidt, 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, during a retirement ceremony Friday.  Photo by Melody Everly.
Col. Samuel E. Whitehurst, 3rd Brigade Combat Team commander, presents the Legion of Merit to Command Sgt. Maj. Leonard C. Kuhlenschmidt, 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, during a retirement ceremony Friday.  Photo by Melody Everly.

Michelle Kennedy

Staff Writer

Soldiers, Families and civilians gathered Friday at the Multipurpose Auditorium to honor 15 retiring Soldiers. During their Army careers, the retirees contributed more than 332 years of service to the nation.

Col. Samuel E. Whitehurst, 3rd Brigade Combat Team commander, provided remarks during the event.

“Over (332) years of experience just walked across this stage a few minutes ago, and I think when you look at these NCOs and officers and the Families standing beside them, you clearly see the strength of our Army,” he said. “Whether facing the foes of our nation in places like Iraq or Afghanistan, or providing comfort and relief to people forced from their homes due to either natural or man-made disasters, these Soldiers – these warriors – have demonstrated what is best about our Army and our nation.”

The retirees selflessly served where the Army needed them, whether it was Kuwait, Turkey, Iraq, Somalia, Bosnia or Afghanistan, Whitehurst said. He also thanked the retirees for their service, leadership, mentorship and caring for Soldiers.

“Their experiences truly mirror the history of our Army over the last 25 years – when the call (was) made, they have always been there,” he explained. “Not only have they demonstrated the duty and commitment that makes them unique in our society today as husbands and as fathers, they have passed along those values to those who are closest to them – their Families.

The retirees’ Families supported them as their husbands and fathers served multiple deployments, endured separations and sacrifices that only come with being an Army Family, and celebrated their Soldiers’ personal and professional accomplishments, Whitehurst added.

While some may see retirement as an end, retirement is only the beginning, according to Whitehurst.

“Hanging up the uniform either tomorrow, next week or next month doesn’t change the person, the husband (or) the father that you have been for the last 20, 25 or 32 years. You will continue to contribute to our communities and our nation just as you did as a Soldier,” he noted. “There may be a little more time for hanging the ‘gone fishing’ sign or working on that project list that I’m sure some of your spouses have waiting for you, but at your heart, you are a Soldier, and I know that just as you have accomplished much over the course of your Army career, you have many accomplishments waiting for you after the Army.”

After his remarks, Whitehurst helped to recognize the retirees.

 

The following Soldiers each received the Legion of Merit:

* Lt. Col. Edward J. Stein, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 10th Mountain Division, retires after 26 years of service. He served overseas in Germany and Alaska, and during Operation Desert Shield / Storm, Operation Provide Comfort and Operation Enduring Freedom. Stein will retire in Evans Mills.

* Command Sgt. Maj. Leonard C. Kuhlenschmidt, 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, retires after 30 years of service. He served overseas in Germany and Korea and during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Kuhlenschmidt will retire in Pittsburgh.

 

The following Soldiers received the Meritorious Service Medal:

* Master Sgt. Shawn T. Dorty, 210th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, retires after 22 years of service. He served overseas in Hawaii, Kuwait and Germany, and during Operation Desert Shield / Storm, Operation Restore Hope, Operation Uphold Democracy, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Dorty will retire in Watertown.

* Master Sgt. Pedro M. Ledezma Jr., Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 10th Mountain Division, retires after 25 years of service. He served overseas in Alaska, Hawaii, Korea, Italy and Japan, and during Operation Restore Hope, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Ledezma will retire in San Antonio.

* Sgt. 1st Class Paul D. Adkins, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 10th Mountain Division, retires after 21 years of service. He served overseas in Korea and during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Adkins will retire in Watertown.

* Sgt. 1st Class Anthony L. Clark, 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, retires after 21 years of service. He served overseas in Germany, Panama and Saudi Arabia, and during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Clark will retire in Black River.

* Sgt. 1st Class Trayton A. Crow, 91st Military Police Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, retires after 20 years of service. He served overseas in Korea and during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Crow will retire in Sackets Harbor.

* Sgt. 1st Class Nicky D. Hart, 6th Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, retires after 20 years of service. He served overseas in Germany and Korea and during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Hart will retire in Hopkinsville, Ky.

* Sgt. 1st Class Jimmuel D. Pascua, 277th Aviation Support Battalion, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, retires after 20 years of service. He served overseas in Alaska and during Operation Enduring Freedom. Wade will retire in North Pole, Alaska.

* Sgt. 1st Class Michael A. Pitz, 710th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, retires after 24 years of service. He served overseas in Germany and during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Pitz will retire in Parish.

* Staff Sgt. Joseph E. Wolfe, 2nd Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, retires after 22 years of service. He served overseas in Korea and during Operation Restore Hope, Operation Uphold / Restore Democracy, in support of Kosovo Forces and Operation Enduring Freedom. Wolfe will retire in Jacksonville, N.C.

 

The following Soldiers received the Army Commendation Medal:

* Staff Sgt. David E. Everett, 2nd Brigade Special Troop Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, retires after 21 years of service. He served overseas in Korea and Alaska, and during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Everett will retire in Roosevelt, Okla.

* Staff Sgt. Charles M. Mear, 277th Aviation Support Battalion, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, retires after 20 years of service. He served overseas in Korea and during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Mear will retire in Port Leyden.

* Staff Sgt. Joseph S. Outwater, 3rd Brigade Special Troop Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, retires after 20 years of service. He served overseas in Germany and in support of Stabilization Forces, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Outwater will retire in Watertown.

* Spc. Deryl S. Deveau, 548th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, retires after 20 years of service. He served overseas in Alaska, Germany and Kuwait, and during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Deveau will retire in Londonderry, N.H.





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