PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- An assortment of military officials from around the Colorado Springs area along with Soldiers, civilians, family members and friends from the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command said farewell to retiring Col. Eric P. Henderson June 7 at The Club on Peterson Air Force Base.

They joined Henderson's family and relatives visiting from across the country to witness the close of a successful 27-year career.

The presiding official for the ceremony was retired Army Brig. Gen. Kurt S. Story, former deputy commander, Joint Functional Component Command for Space, U.S. Strategic Command.

"Henderson is the type of person that people want to follow," said Story. "A leader has a responsibility to the group, and Eric never loses sight of that. A leader has a responsibility to himself, and Eric doesn't ever lose sight of that. A leader has a responsibility to the community -- in this case the larger Army enterprise -- our nation. Eric never lost sight of that. And lastly a leader has an obligation to ethics and morality -- to our code, and Eric never lost sight of that. Eric is a great American. I'm proud of him, and proud to have served with him."

After his remarks, he presented Henderson with the Legion of Merit for his service in the command culminating as chief of the G-33 Operations Division, deputy chief of staff, G-3, SMDC from June 2003 through July 2013.

Numerous awards and honors were presented to Henderson, as well as to his wife, Jean, during the ceremony. As Story presented the final honor - that of the certificate of retirement and pin - Henderson took center stage saying, "If a Soldier's Soldiers are his credentials, then a man's friends are truly his wealth. When I look around here today and I see everybody in here, it is the greatest honor that could ever be bestowed upon me."