U.S Army Reserve Col. Elaine McGarry, deputy operations officer in the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command's (SDDC) Operations Directorate, was honored for her 30 years of service to the nation during a retirement ceremony conducted June 15 at Scott Air Force Base, Ill.

Brig. Gen. Martin Klein, commanding general of the Deployment Support Command and SDDC deputy commanding general for mobilization, officiated the ceremony.

McGarry grew up in Iowa and hails from a military family -- her grandfather, father, husband, sister and two nephews have all served.

While attending college at the University of Northern Iowa, she asked her father about the Army after finding a pamphlet about the school's Army ROTC program.

"Dad said, 'The Army treated me pretty well. You might want to check it out,'" related McGarry, "and now here we are 30 years later."

After graduation in 1988, she joined the Iowa Army National Guard, serving for almost two years before moving and transferring to the Colorado Army National Guard.

McGarry joined the U.S. Army Reserves in 1998 and has since been mobilized three times in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

Recognizing her outstanding achievements throughout her career, Klein presented McGarry with the Meritorious Service Medal, highlighting McGarry's "extensive experience in the field of transportation and operational logistics."

"Colonel McGarry has definitely served faithfully throughout her career," said Klein. "She is a guiding light who lives the Army values."

McGarry was also presented with her certificate of retirement, a congratulatory letter from President Donald J. Trump, the retired Army pin, and an American flag to recognize her career of selfless service to the Army and to the nation.

Numerous relatives and members of McGarry's family joined her at the ceremony, highlighted by her husband Robert, a retired Chief Warrant Officer 5, daughter Sarah and son Matthew.

McGarry thanked her family for the many sacrifices they endured while supporting her career and says she looks forward to being able to spend more time with them at home.

"God has always placed me where He needed me," said McGarry. "My most important role is wife and mother."