Sumter bids farewell to Lt. Gen. Brooks
June 21, 2013
SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- The Sumter community bid farewell to the Third Army/ARCENT commanding general and his wife at a dinner held in his honor at Sunset Country Club in Sumter, June 20.
The citizens of Sumter and the surrounding communities, who warmly welcomed Third Army two years ago, bid Lt. Gen. Vincent K. Brooks and Dr. Carol Brooks, a fond farewell at a dinner attended by community leaders.
"We have thoroughly enjoyed having both of you, Carol, and Gen. Brooks, in the midlands of South Carolina," said Ike McLeese, Greater Columbia Region President and CEO of the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce, and the South Carolina Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army.
Other local officials shared McLeese's sentiments.
"On behalf of the more than 107,000 citizens of Sumter County, we'd like to thank you for your service here, and wish you well in all your endeavors as you continue to serve our great nation," said Larry Blanding, chairman of the Sumter County Counsel.
Under Brooks' command, Third Army/ARCENT's partnership with the Sumter School District greatly impacted the students, said one school official.
"When Third Army came in, they hit the ground running in establishing a partnership and helping us help our students, and that's one of the many legacies that you established," Randolph Bynum, Sumter School District superintendent.
During his remarks, Brooks said he would have fond memories of the local communities.
"I do believe, deeply, that the friendships that we've grown here are greater than we can number," said Brooks. "It gives us a great deal of honor, a great deal of happiness, and you truly do fill us up."
Brooks, who was Third Army/ARCENT's first commander after the headquarters moved here from Fort McPherson, Ga., in 2011, added that he was proud of Third Army/ARCENT's positively affect on Sumter and the surrounding areas.
"We've done things in the community here; we've made a difference in the lives of people," Brooks remarked. That kind of spirit - that's on fire here. And being a part of that, being able to see that - what a thrill!"
Brooks will be promoted to the rank of general July 2 when he takes command of U.S. Army Pacific at Fort Shafter, Hawaii.