By Jim Hughes, Command Information OfficerOctober 31, 2013
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (October 31, 2013) -- On a day when Fort Rucker hosted area retirees for Retiree Appreciation Day and the Retiree Health Fair, the post took it a step further by honoring nine Soldiers and two civilians -- the newest to enter the retired ranks -- at the quarterly retirement ceremony Oct. 25.
The 11 represent more than 270 years of combined service to the country, according to Col. Shawn T. Prickett, 1st Aviation Brigade commander and host of this quarter's ceremony.
"That's incredible … and humbling," he said. "Because of these patriots, we've continued to develop the Army as a profession, certainly increased the capabilities of our Army and developed the best leaders of our time.
"While we honor your service and sacrifice, we must also recognize the sacrifices of your Families," he continued. "As you go on your way after this ceremony today, always remember that you and your Families are forever part of this noble profession. You helped us build the most capable Army the world has ever known. Our nation will be better that you chose to serve when you didn't have to. God bless each and every one of you, and thank you for your service to our great nation. Above the best!"
Lt. Col. Michael R. Pouncey entered military service in January 1991, culminating in duties as the deputy director of the Medical Evacuation Proponency at Fort Rucker. He served overseas in Haiti, Bosnia, Honduras, Panama and Iraq. He has deployed on multiple operational and humanitarian support missions with the United Nations and NATO. He also served three combat tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He described the highlight of his career as having the opportunity to serve his country in combat while flying and leading Soldiers to accomplish their life-saving mission of evacuating wounded. He and his wife, Allison, have two children. They plan to reside wherever his next career takes him, he said, adding that it is pending approval from his wife, who still outranks him.
Chaplain (Maj.) Rory Rodriquez entered military service with the Navy in 1976 and was honorably discharged in 1980. In 1996, he joined the Army Reserve and entered active duty in 1997, culminating in his duties as the Fort Rucker Family Life Chaplain. He has served overseas in Guam, Hawaii, Honduras, Korea, Blegium, Germany and Iraq. He deployed in support of Joint Task Force Bravo and OIF. He described the highlight of his career as meeting his wife, Valerie, in Belgium. The couple has three children. They plan to reside in Belgium and enjoying all that Europe has to offer.
CW4 Damian D. Balthaser entered military service in October 1987, culminating as the program officer for the Directorate of Training and Doctrine Aircraft Survivability Training Systems at Fort Rucker. He served overseas in Kosovo, Germany and Iraq, and also combat tours in support of OIF. He said the highlight of his career was meeting and marrying his wife, Ijen Liu in Germany. They plan to reside in Enterprise.
CW3 James D. Sanchez entered military service in November 1990, culminating in duties as the officer in charge of staff and faculty at Fort Eustis, Va. He served overseas in Korea and Germany, and combat tours in support of OIF and Operation Enduring Freedom. He said the highlight of his career was his father pining on his warrant officer rank. He and his wife, Stephanie, have five children. They plan to reside in Dothan.
CW3 Edgar C. Lovitt entered military service in October 1991, culminating as student management officer of B Company, 1st Battalion, 145th Aviation Regiment at Fort Rucker. He served overseas in Germany, Haiti, Iraq and Honduras, and combat tours supporting OIF and Operation Uphold Democracy. He said the highlight of his career was serving as an AH-64 Apache pilot in command during combat operations. He and his wife, Louvinda, have four children. They plan to reside in Ozark.
First Sgt. Robert E. Carter Jr. entered military service in August 1987, culminating in duties as first sergeant and international military student officer at Fort Shafter, Hawaii. He served overseas in Germany, Hawaii, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Egypt, Israel and Iraq. He also served combat tours in support of OIF and OEF. He said the highlight of his career was serving as first sergeant. Traveling to more than 20 countries and working with people from all walks of life. He plans to reside in Fort Worth, Texas.
Sgt. 1st Class Rodney Lewis entered military service in June 1982, culminating as the battalion S4 NCO in charge for 3rd Battalion, 363rd Training Support Battalion at Joint Forces Training Base, Los Alamitos, Calif. He served overseas in Korea, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq, and also a combat tour in support of Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Shield. He said the highlight of his career was earning the Glen E. Morrell Award for Recruiting Excellence. He and his wife, Freda, plan to reside in Quincy, Fla.
Sgt. 1st Class Telroy F. Grant entered military service in October 1990, culminating as standardization air traffic control maintenance supervisor evaluator and Federal Aviation Administration inspection technician at Fort Rucker. He served overseas in Korea, Germany, Bosnia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan. He also served combat tours in support of OIF and OEF. He said the highlight of his career was serving as worldwide Army resource management survey evaluator and FAA flight inspection technician. He and his wife, Jacqueline, plan to reside in the local area.
Sgt. 1st Class Rolando L. Correa entered military service in January 1994, culminating as an instructor at the NCO Academy at Fort Rucker. He served overseas in Panama, Germany, Iraq and Puerto Rico. He also served multiple combat tours in support of OIF. He said the highlight of his career was being able to provide a stable home for his Family. He and his wife, Sonia, have three children. They plan to reside in Tampa, Fla.
Allie M. Reddick entered federal service in May 1980 at Fort Rucker, culminating as an administrative support technician at the Fort Rucker NCOA. She said the highlight of her career was helping to make a difference in the life of a young Soldier by encouraging him and convincing him that his life was precious and worth living, receiving a certificate of achievement from U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command. She and her husband, David, have one child. They plan to reside in Enterprise.
Kenneth M. Newsom entered federal service in April 1987 at Fort Rucker, culminating as a firefighter with the Fort Rucker Directorate of Public Safety. He said the highlight of his career was helping protect those who serve the nation. He and his wife, Kathy, have three children. They plan to reside in Enterprise.