FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Those who serve in the military choose different paths throughout their careers. Some Soldiers choose to serve their country with one or two terms, and then move on to civilian careers or college life. Others take the long road - serving their nation for the full 20-plus years.

Every quarter, the 82nd Sustainment Brigade celebrates Soldiers who have taken this journey. On Friday, they recognized the combined total of 139 years of service of six Soldiers preparing to leave the Army.

Staying in the Army, sacrificing time with your Family and risking your life for your country, may not be the easiest decision for a Soldier to make. The Soldiers recognized for their service had diverse careers, ranging from parachute rigger to personnel management. They served all over the world in numerous countries and deployed to Grenada, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Lt. Col. Robert DeLacy, commander, 189th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, said retiring from 20 years in a civilian career doesn't even come close to what a Soldier sees, learns and experiences during 20 years in the Army. He said that it is not only the Soldier who sacrifices by moving numerous times during those 20 years, but the Family, as well. Children go to at least five different schools and countless birthdays, holidays and anniversaries are missed.

"Service is a word that is associated less and less with the military," said DeLacy. "We've had many mottos over the years, 'be all you can be,' 'an Army of one,' and now 'Army strong.' The term service is rarely used, but it best describes the sacrifices these Soldiers make over a 20-year career."

As Soldiers retire, their service is not forgotten. Fort Bragg continues to offer support and service to retirees. The Retiree Service Office is located on the first floor of the Soldier Support Center on Normandy Drive. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The office provides pre-retirement briefings; counseling on retirement rights, benefits and privileges; support for surviving spouses; and more.

For information, visit the Retiree Service Office Web site at www.bragg.army.mil/dhr/rso.asp or call 396-3747.

Thank you to Maj. Angela Y. Walker, Chief Warrant Officer Frank J. Bowden, Master Sgt. David Clark, Sgt. 1st Class Douglas P. Age, Sgt. 1st Class Darrel L. Winchester and Staff Sgt. David E. McLaughlin for your service.

Page last updated Fri February 5th, 2010 at 11:37