ROCK ISLAND, Ill. -- Among family, friends and coworkers, four Department of the Army civilians and eight Soldiers received decorations and gratitude during a March 29 retirement and retreat ceremony held at Constitution Square on Rock Island Arsenal.
Brig. Gen. Brian Layer, Army Sustainment Command deputy commanding general for sustainment, hosted the ceremony and extended his personal appreciation and admiration to the retirees.
Referencing "The Army Song," Layer compared the U.S. Army to the Mississippi River, which flows past the Arsenal, as both keep rolling along.
"No matter what happens to it, or what we ask of it, it keeps rolling along", he said. "When these 12 march away this afternoon, 330 years of experience, 330 years of wisdom, 330 years of friendship, of sacrifice and memories will roll along with them."
The retirees were:
• Col. Randy R. Rosenberg, Distribution Integration Division director
• Lt. Col. John A. Wyrwas, chief, Materiel Readiness Division
• Lt. Col. Teresa L. Rae, director, Logistics Integrator (G4)
• Maj. Paul D. Templeton, deputy, Materiel Readiness Division -- DMC
• Master Sgt. Shawn D. Gibson, Materiel Support Branch
• Master Sgt. Joseph D. Newsom, Senior Chaplain Assistant
• Master Sgt. Curtis L. Brooks, Operations Sergeant
• Staff Sgt. Richard J. Noel, Chaplain Assistant
• Evan M. Jones, deputy, Mobility Division -- DMC
• Tracy R. Wyant, lead organizational development and training specialist
• Richard K. Fricke, logistics management specialist
• Linda K. Theis, deputy, Public Affairs
When asked what she will miss most from her career, Theis said she would miss all of the people she has met along the way. "I will miss all of the fun we had, despite all of the work."
In retirement, Theis plans to spend her time focused on volunteering. Specifically, she will help adults learn to read. She also plans to spend more time with family and to enjoy time on the river, boating during the summer months.
"If you work hard, then you will eventually get to this point in your life when you are ready to move on to something else," she said.
Rosenberg said he will also miss all of the people he has met throughout his career.
"It doesn't seem like it's been 30 years," he said. "It's all quick, done and over with."
The March 29 event concluded with a retreat ceremony, during which the flag was lowered and the cannon fired, signifying the end of the duty day for Soldiers.
"I know most of you, and some of you very well," said Layer. "And when I gazed upon you I wonder if our Army will ever be so lovely, so powerful, or so perfect as it is right now with you still in our ranks. So on behalf of a grateful nation; let me say thank you and God bless you."