KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany - The late afternoon sun provided a picture perfect backdrop to illuminate the shiny promise of new beginnings when the 21st Theater Sustainment Command held its retreat and retirement ceremony at the parade field on Panzer Kaserne here April 23.

The ceremony was hosted by Maj. Gen. Patricia E. McQuistion, the 21st TSC's commanding general, and Command Sgt. Maj. Jim Spencer, the 21st TSC's command sergeant major. Fittingly, Brig. Gen. Jimmie Jaye Wells, the commanding general of the 7th Civil Support Command and the ceremony's guest speaker, acknowledged the two retirees who both served with the 7th CSC before retiring.

"We will fill your position, but not your boots. Your legacy and reputation of caring for your Soldiers are traced in your footsteps," Wells told Command Sgt. Maj. David Stading. Stading, the command sergeant major for the 7th CSC, is retiring after more than 32 years of combined service in the Army's active and the reserve components.

"I can't believe it is happening - the 32 years went by so fast. But, if I look at everything I've done, it seems like three times as much time should have passed," Stading said.

Nonetheless, there is no regret about retiring from the military service for Stading.

"There is no more honorable job in our Nation than to lead America's sons and daughters, but it is time. It is time for this new phase in my life," he said.

His fellow retiree, Lt. Col. James Demchsak, the plans and operations officer for the 7th CSC, agreed. However, Wells reminded him that he had attempted to retire once before but found himself changing his plans at the last minute and instead of retiring, he served three more years.

"Now, Jim Demchsak had planned to retire on January 5, 2007, but 18 hours before his retirement ceremony, on January 4, the telephone rang and Jim picked up the phone ... I want to say. Thank you for taking that call, Jim," Wells said.

Nonetheless, Demchsak said after a lifetime of moving from one installation to another, first as a military brat and than during his 23 years of service, it is time to settle.

"Today is a good day to be a Soldier and a good day to retire. People have been telling me, 'when it's time to retire, you'll know.' I know today is that day," he said.

Of course, Demchsak is not severing his military ties. He will serve as the senior logistics planner with U.S. Army Europe's supply and logistics directorate. He and his wife Robin will remain in Kaiserslautern where he is also the quarterbacks' coach for the Kaiserslautern Pikes American Football team.

Stading, on the other hand, looks forward to a lot of hunting and fishing near his retirement home he plans to build in San Antonio, Texas. He too will be working with young people - through the Thomas "Hollywood" Henderson youth foundations.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16