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The Mountaineer Online



Fort Drum community honors retiring Soldiers


Col. Thomas D. MacDonald, left, presents Col. Robert A. Rudolph, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, with a U.S. flag after pinning on the Legion of Merit Medal in honor of his 27 years of service during a retirement ceremony Friday. Photo by Glenn Wagner.<br>
Col. Thomas D. MacDonald, left, presents Col. Robert A. Rudolph, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, with a U.S. flag after pinning on the Legion of Merit Medal in honor of his 27 years of service during a retirement ceremony Friday. Photo by Glenn Wagner.

Melody Everly

Staff Writer

Members of the Fort Drum community gathered to honor 17 Soldiers with more than 373 years of combined military service during a retirement ceremony Friday at the Multipurpose Auditorium.

Col. Thomas D. MacDonald, 10th Mountain Division (LI) chief of staff and guest speaker for the occasion, spoke about the many changes that the retirees experienced and witnessed during their Army careers.

“You joined at the height of the world’s obsession with the Cold War, and half of you were Soldiers when it ended in 1991,” MacDonald said. “You covered your heads with patrol caps, berets, boonies and patrol caps … again.  You called cadence in Germany, Korea, Panama, Hawaii, Belgium, Poland, Honduras and at nearly every other (continental U.S.) post.”

MacDonald went on to say that it was now time for the retirees to hang up their hats, both literally and figuratively, to move on to the next phase of their lives.

“You now have the opportunity that, while common in our profession, is actually pretty rare in our society – you have the option of starting a new life and are the envy of many,” he said.

MacDonald also took the time to thank the Family Members of those retiring.

“You served side by side with your Soldiers, enduring their hardships and providing the unconditional love and support that strengthen them,” he said.

MacDonald said that the retirees demonstrated the highest ethical standards and values and that their example has had a profound impact on those they served alongside.

“As you all enter this next chapter of your lives, know that your presence will reverberate through the leaders you trained,” he said. “You have our thanks and our admiration for your service and sacrifice.”

After concluding his remarks, MacDonald helped to honor the retirees.

The following Soldiers each received the Legion of Merit Medal:

*Col. Robert A. Rudolph, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, retires after 27 years of service. He served overseas in Korea and during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Rudolph will retire in Chandler, Ariz.

*Lt. Col. Guenther Pearson, 91st Military Police Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, retires with 22 years of service. He served overseas in Korea and Cuba, in support of Kosovo Forces and during Operation Desert Shield / Storm and Operation Enduring Freedom. Pearson will retire in Hinesville, Ga.

The following Soldiers each received the Meritorious Service Medal:

*Sgt. Maj. Hassan O. Wilson, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 10th Mountain Division (LI), retires with 22 years of service. He served overseas in Korea, Poland and Germany, in support of Kosovo Forces and during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Wilson will retire in El Paso, Texas.

*First Sgt. Harold D. Brown Jr., 1st Battalion, 10th Aviation Regiment, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade, retires will 23 years of service. He served overseas in Korea and during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Brown will retire in Carthage.

*First Sgt. Vanessa C. Elyea, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, retires with 23 years of service. She served overseas in Hawaii, Kuwait and Korea and during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Elyea will retire in El Paso, Texas.

*First Sgt. Kathleen D. Koser, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 10th Mountain Divison (LI), retires with 20 years of service. She served overseas in Korea and during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Koser will retire in Sackets Harbor.

*First Sgt. Gregory L. Owens, 3rd Battalion, 85th Infantry Regiment (Warrior Transition Unit), retires after 29 years. He served overseas in Germany, Korea and Honduras and during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Owens will retire in Watertown.

*Sgt. 1st Class Deborah A. Leaks-Jackson, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, retires after 20 years. She served overseas in Haiti and Korea and during Operation Enduring Freedom. Leaks-Jackson will retire in Newport News, Va.

*Sgt. 1st Class Eddie F. Price Jr., 210th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, retires after 20 years of service. He served overseas in Korea and during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Price will retire in Augusta, Ga.

*Sgt. 1st Class Maureen Quzack, 63rd Explosive Ordnance Detachment, 10th Sustainment Brigade, retires after 23 years of service. She served overseas in Korea, Germany and Belgium and during Operation Enduring Freedom. Quzack will retire in Columbia, S.C.

*Sgt. 1st Class Lawrence M. Word Jr., 548th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, retires after 23 years of service. He served overseas in Korea and Germany and during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Word will retire in Derrider, La.

*Staff Sgt. Craig M. Bedard, 63rd Explosive Ordnance Detachment, 10th Sustainment Brigade, retires after 21 years of service. He served overseas in Guam and during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Bedard will retire in Cranston, R.I.

*Staff Sgt. Elliot L. Montesinos, 710th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, retires after 20 years of service. He served overseas in Germany, Panama and Korea and during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Montesinos will retire in San Antonio.

*Staff Sgt. Roy R. Ramsden, 710th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, retires after 20 years of service. He served overseas in Korea and during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Ramsden will retire in Syracuse.

*Staff Sgt. Leroy T. Warren, 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, retires after 20 years of service. He served overseas in Germany and during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Warren will retire in Rochester, N.H.

The following Soldiers each received the Army Commendation Medal:

*Staff Sgt. Andre M. McMullen Sr., 710th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, retires after 20 years of service. He served overseas in Korea, Hawaii and Kuwait and during Operation Enduring Freedom. McMullen will retire in West Chester, Pa.

*Staff Sgt. Timothy J. Philbrook, 1st Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, retires after 20 years of service. He served overseas in Hawaii and Korea and during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Philbrook will retire in War, W.Va.

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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