FORT SILL, Okla., Aug. 9, 2019 -- Chief Warrant Officer 5 John Robinson requested an addition to the change of responsibility ceremony to accommodate a personal issue that contributed to his retirement. Following each speaker's remarks, they stood for a dousing of cool water.
"I was lucky enough to be able to serve the full two years as the chief warrant officer of this fantastic branch, but toward the twilight, the doctors gave me a tough call -- they said you got ALS," said Robinson, speaking of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a disease otherwise associated with a famous New York Yankees baseball player.
Otherwise, because Robinson owes his sports allegiance to a Massachusetts team.
"No disrespect to Lou Gehrig, but when you're a proud member of Red Sox Nation, you can't associate yourself with a New York Yankee," said Robinson. "So in our house we call it Stephen Hawking Disease."
Although no money was collected for research into curing the disease, Robinson reminded all of the Combined Federal Campaign and how recalling the number associated with a long popular blue jeans logo can connect people with ALS on the CFC.
The chief warrant officer said the disease didn't stop him from serving his term, but now his time is done.
"Your wife tells you when it's OK to PCS, but God tells you when it's time to retire," he said.