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The Mountaineer Online



Fort Drum community honors retiring Soldiers


(Photo by Glenn Wagner)<br>Col. Willie I. Rios III, 10th Sustainment Brigade commander, presents the Meritorious Service Medal to Sgt. 1st Class Eli K.M. Foster, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, who retired after 20 years of service.<br>
(Photo by Glenn Wagner)
Col. Willie I. Rios III, 10th Sustainment Brigade commander, presents the Meritorious Service Medal to Sgt. 1st Class Eli K.M. Foster, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, who retired after 20 years of service.

Melody Everly

Staff Writer

Fort Drum community members gathered to honor 17 Soldiers with more than 352 years of combined military service during a retirement ceremony Sept. 27 at the Multipurpose Auditorium.
Col. Willie I. Rios III, 10th Sustainment Brigade commander, thanked attendees for being a part of celebrating the accomplishments of the retirees. He said he was honored to represent 10th Mountain Division (LI) in recognizing them for their selfless service.
Rios quoted President Calvin Coolidge, who said “Patriotism is easy to understand in America: it means looking out for yourself by looking out for your country.”
“These great Americans did just that,” Rios said. “They volunteered to serve and look out for our country by deploying and fighting our nation’s wars. They did so with dignity and honor.”
Rios said that words were inadequate to express the thanks that these veterans deserve, but they should feel proud knowing that they did their part to support our nation.
“You paid the price,” Rios said. “You sacrificed your time with Families, friends and loved ones to allow others to cherish the freedom we all enjoy today.”
He also told the retirees that he knows they will continue to serve, albeit in a different way, upon retiring from the Army.
“You walk away today with more than just a retirement income, a room full of plaques and decades of fond memories. The Army has given you a unique perspective on citizenship that you will take with you to communities across the country.  Though you may feel some relief that the immediate burden of leadership has been lifted as you change out of your uniform tonight, the truth is, for most of you, it will be a temporary thing.
“Each of you has been a leader in some capacity your entire adult life, and you won’t be satisfied to sit on the sidelines for very long,” he continued.
While Rios said he hopes these Soldiers will use their retirement as a chance to enjoy time with their Families, he urged them to continue to use their unique skills to better their communities and their country.
Upon concluding his remarks, Rios helped to honor the retirees.
The following Soldiers each received the Meritorious Service Medal:
wMaj. Wade M. Czajkowski, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, retires after 23 years of service. He served overseas in Germany and Alaska and during Operation Joint Endeavor and Operation Enduring Freedom. Czajkowski will retire in Calcium.
wMaj. Phillip J. Philbrick, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 10th Mountain Division (LI), retires after 20 years of service. He served overseas in Egypt and during Operation Enduring Freedom. Philbrick will retire in Syracuse.
wFirst Sgt. Anthony J. Bly, 3rd Battalion, 85th Infantry Regiment (Warrior Transition Unit), retires after 26 years of service. He served overseas in Korea, Belgium and Italy and during Operation Joint Forge, Operation Joint Guardian, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Bly will retire in Carthage.
wFirst Sgt. Joseph F. Dippel, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, retires after 21 years of service. He served overseas in Korea and during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Dippel will retire in Clayton.
wFirst Sgt. Jason D. Maki, 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, retires after 20 years of service. He served overseas in Korea and Hawaii and during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Maki will retire in Eben Junction, Mich.
wSgt. 1st Class Eli K.M. Foster, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, retires after 20 years of service. He served overseas in Alaska and Hawaii and during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Foster will retire in Mililani, Hawaii.
wSgt. 1st Class Rodney L. Lubnow, 23rd Military Police Company, 91st Military Police Batt-
alion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, retires after 23 years. He served overseas in Cuba and during Operation Desert Shield / Storm. Lubnow will retire in Jacksonville, Fla.
wSgt. 1st Class Christopher R. Meadows, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 10th Mountain Division (LI), retires after 12 years of service. He served overseas in Italy and Belgium and during Operation Enduring Freedom. Meadows will retire in Deering, N.H.
wSgt. 1st Class Milton J. Smith, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, retires after 20 years of service. He served overseas in Korea and Germany and during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Smith will retire in Buffalo.
wSgt. 1st Class Robert E. Stearns, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, retires after 21 years. He served overseas in Cuba, Haiti, Panama, Alaska, Thailand, Guam and Belgium and during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Stearns will retire in Green Bay, Wis.
wStaff Sgt. David H. McAllister, Forward Support Company, 7th Engineer Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, retires after 23 years of service. He served overseas in Germany and Korea and during Operation Iraqi Freedom. McAllister will retire in Watertown.
wStaff Sgt. Jason J. Ontiveros, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 548th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, retires after 20 years of service. He served overseas in Hawaii and during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Ontiveros will retire in Gouverneur.
wStaff Sgt. Joseph A. Weatherford, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, retires after 20 years of service. He served overseas in Germany and during Operation Restore Hope, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Weatherford will retire in Alexandria Bay.
The following Soldiers each received the Army Commendation Medal:
wStaff Sgt. Christopher M. DePrater, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 10th Mountain Division (LI), retires after 20 years. He served overseas in Germany and Korea and during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. DePrater will retire in St. Marys, Pa.
wStaff Sgt. Tyrone Luckie, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, retires after 23 years of service. He served overseas in Korea and Germany and during Operation Joint Endeavor, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Luckie will retire in Raeford, N.C.
wStaff Sgt. James A. Smith Jr., Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, retires after 20 years of service. He served overseas in Korea and Germany and during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Smith will retire in Carthage.  
wSgt. Geraldo Correa, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 210th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, retires after 20 years of service. He served overseas in Korea and during Operation Iraqi
Freedom. Correa will retire in Buffalo.
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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