RED RIVER ARMY DEPOT, Texas - "Wow. What stories you must have of this place," said Red River Commander Col. Doyle Lassitter as he spoke about Doyce Martin during a short ceremony.

"So you only had 51 years and seven months? Is that it? Why did you give up so soon," said Lassitter during the ceremony, jokingly asking the longtime Red River member as he smiled.

In recognition of the milestone, Martin received a Presidential Letter of Appreciation personally signed by President Barack Obama, presented by Lassitter during the ceremony.

"I'm honored to congratulate you as you retire after more than a half a century of service to our nation," the letter from the President stated. "Public service is an honorable calling and I am privileged to join in celebrating your extraordinary 51 year career at the Department of the Army. A grateful nation thanks you for your service."

Joining Martin for the ceremony were his wife, Linda, as well as host of close depot friends who have come to know him throughout the years.

Martin began his career in the tire recap shop in 1961. He was drafted in the Army in September of 1963 and served for two years. When he returned in October of 1965 he returned to the apprentice program he began before being drafted.

Martin spent the majority of his career in the work planning area.

Besides the people, Martin said the biggest change has been the changes made to buildings.

"I remember so many things like where the old guard shacks and also when they moved the chapel up to the area where the old main gate used to be," he said. "They've changed so many things over the years."

Martin's last position at the depot was Equipment Specialist.