By Mr. Eric Kowal (Picatinny)December 13, 2018
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. - Picatinny Arsenal Chaplain Lt. Col. Terrence Walsh was officially retired from active military service during a ceremony on Dec. 3 inside the installation's chapel.
Picatinny Arsenal's Commanding General, Brig. Gen. Alfred F. Abramson III, officiated the event, which closed out Walsh's more than 26-year military career.
Walsh arrived at Picatinny Arsenal in June of 2015 after years of attempting to get stationed here.
During an in-processing interview when he came on board three years ago, Walsh described Picatinny as his "dream duty station."
"I think God had a little play in it," Walsh said of the Army's decision to send him to New Jersey. During the ceremony, Abramson praised Walsh's long career.
"I had a battalion commander that once that said, 'You can potentially serve for 20 years. Anything beyond that means you are doing a great job.' Twenty years is an admirable service," Abramson said.
"Some of us get to serve beyond 20 years," the general continued. "Once you do that, that means you have done something good and you have provided an invaluable support to our nation."
Walsh, a native of Deer Park, New York, was commissioned as an Army Reserve Chaplain in 1991 and entered active duty in 1993.
Several of his previous duty stations included Camp Red Cloud in Korea, Fort Drum, New York, Fort Knox, Kentucky, and Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
He was deployed as a battalion chaplain to Somalia and as a brigade chaplain to Iraq.
Walsh shared his thoughts about his military service, and what he described as his calling to be a U.S. Army Chaplain.
"God called me to four great things in my life," Walsh said. "God called me to be husband to Kathy and father to Brian. Those calls alone make my life great," the chaplain continued.
"God called me to be a pastor of the church and then issued a particular call to be an Army chaplain. I have been truly blessed to receive these four calls."
Walsh thanked friends, family, and colleagues in attendance and described Abramson as the finest commander he had an opportunity to work with.
He was also very appreciate of Department of Emergency Services employees, including the Picatinny Arsenal Fire Department (PAFD), Police Department, and Security personnel.
"I live on post and I get to be one of the very few people who drive back and forth on and off post during Thanksgiving and Christmas, and New Year's Eve, and I get to see the security personnel who, despite having to work on the holiday, are unfailingly cheerful," Walsh said.
"I want to take a special opportunity to thank the fire and police and security guards because most of the time they are not even responding to calls here on post. They are out in the community, working on calls as part of mutual aid agreements, helping keep those outside the gates safe, just as they would those who live or work inside," Walsh added.
After the ceremony, Jeremy Rebok, Chief of the PAFD, said that during his entire 26-year career as a fireman, 17 with the DOD, Chaplain Walsh was the only chaplain who ever came to visit the department and check on the crew.
Rebok described Walsh as a "protector," and said that his men very much appreciated his guidance and support.
The Chaplain was supported by two religious support specialists, Staff Sgt. Edward Morris and Sgt. Jimmy Roberts.
Walsh's replacement is scheduled to report to Picatinny Arsenal in mid-January 2019.