Marking Army careers' end, honoring service
September 15, 2011
WIESBADEN, Germany - A sense of completion and satisfaction filled three Wiesbaden master sergeants upon formally bidding farewell to two decades of Army service.
Master Sgts. Joseph Williams, Bonifacio Cabradilla and William Trabucco were honored in a community retirement ceremony Aug. 25 at the Community Activity Center on Wiesbaden Army Airfield before family, friends and colleagues for their achievements in military service to the nation.
"I accomplished everything I wanted to do in the Army," said Trabucco, U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden directorate of emergency services, who served 20 years. "It's something I always wanted to do growing up."
"It just felt right. It was the time to do it," said Williams, 5th Signal Command, about the decision to retire and having recently aided his unit in its relocation from Mannheim to Wiesbaden.
"I retired for the family … to spend more time with my 8- and 9-year-olds," said Cabradilla, 66th Military Intelligence Brigade, of his reason for retiring now.
And while they all arrive at the end of their career with an immense sense of fulfillment, one remembered a pivotal point that influenced his decision to continue on.
"When I met her I realized there's more here," said Williams who recalled a time when he lacked focus and discipline, but got on the right track upon meeting his wife. "I wanted to be better for her."
Cabradilla recalled a time when his motivation was challenged by a mood of stagnation, and almost affected his stay in the military.
"In 1995 while I was stationed at Fort Campbell, the feeling was different than now. I could not see progress. There was nothing to challenge me," he said, adding that a follow-on assignment to Japan boosted his motivation to remain until now. "That organization had a good impact on my career."
Among the number of successes the Soldiers recorded, taking care of troops was high on their lists.
"I brought all 32 Soldiers home safe. Most fulfilling thing I've ever done," said Trabucco of his deployment to Iraq, the "best and scariest" time of his career."
"I always liked working with the young Soldiers," said Williams, as he recounted the tasks of first sergeant duty and running the Boston Marathon (his wife pointed out that he was also honored as an Audie Murphy recipient). "It was great helping Soldiers and Families overcome difficulties.
And with plenty of experience with deployments, range time, troubled troops, ancillary training, Soldier time and PT, the sentiment was the same for them all, even their spouses.
"I love the military lifestyle. … Hopefully we won't miss it," said Annikka Trabucco. "This was more fun," added her husband.
"It was a great honor to have been a part of it," said Cabradilla.
"It's been a great job," said Williams.