By Greg Wilson, ASC Public Affairs
ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- Three Soldiers were honored for their service to the nation in a virtual retirement ceremony held here in Heritage Hall, March 11.
Maj. Gen. Rodney “Rod” Faulk, deputy commanding general-Support, First U.S. Army, presided over the event. Assisting him in the presentations was Sgt. Maj. Davina Francis, G3, Operations, First U.S. Army.
In his remarks, Faulk commended the three for giving a large portion of their lives in service to the U.S., saying, “We’re honored to have called you our brothers and sisters in arms.”
He quoted the late First U.S. Army commander Gen. Omar Bradley, who, during World War II, after leading American troops when they stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, said, “The nation today needs those who think in terms of service to their country, not in terms of their country’s debt to them.”
He compared Bradley’s words to those who are now retiring, adding “… their lives and their careers have been focused on how they can serve others, how they can give, and what they can offer.”
Faulk also commended the families of the retiring Soldiers for their support during their careers, saying, “The Army has an axiom that the Soldier writes the check, but our families pay the bills.”
The retired Soldiers are:
Lt. Col. Leslie Stonehocker, G1 Operations and Integration Branch chief, First U.S. Army, enlisted in October 1991, and retired with nearly 30 years of service. His experience includes serving as executive officer for Alpha Company, 5th Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; S1 for the 89th Military Police Brigade, Fort Hood, Texas; chief of Leadership Policy Branch, Department of the Army G1, Pentagon, Arlington, Virginia; 1st Human Resources Sustainment Center in Kaiserslautern, Germany, where he served as the chief of the Plans & Operations, Postal, Casualty, and Reception/Staging/Onward Movement sections, and chief of the Kuwait Casualty Assistance Center.
His military decorations include a Bronze Star Medal, six Meritorious Service Medals, five Army Commendation Medals, Iraq Campaign Medal Combat Action Badge, Parachutist Badge, and the Army Engineer Association Bronze Order of the de Fleury.
As far as his retirement plans, Stonehocker said he looked forward to spending time with his children, his granddaughter, and his girlfriend.
Maj. Heather Deters, SHARP program manager, First U.S. Army, initially enlisted in October 1996, and retired with nearly 25 years of service. Her experience includes Brigade S1, 174th Infantry Brigade, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst; operations officer, 1st Infantry Division G1, Fort Riley, Kansas; battalion S1, 1-64th Armor Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division; plans and operations officer, 2nd Infantry Division G1, Camp Red Cloud, Korea; Longbow Apache helicopter crew chief, 1-227th Aviation Regiment, Fort Hood, Texas.
Her military decorations include a Bronze Star Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, and two Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, two Iraqi Campaign Medals, Korea Defense Service Medal, two Overseas Service Ribbons, Combat Action Badge, Recruiter Badge, and Aircraft Crewman Badge.
Deters said her retirement plans were to live and work in the Quad Cities and take her my family to Disney World.
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Robert Dees, G6 Cybersecurity Senior Information Systems technician, U.S. Army Sustainment Command, served 28 years, and served as a NATO communications planner with Joint Forces Command in Naples, Italy.
He served as part of the G6 with Headquarters and Headquarters Command, Eighth Army, Korea, managing the Combined Enterprise Regional Information System – Korea, as well as planning communications for the First U.S. Army lead joint exercise between the U.S and Thailand. His deployments include Kosovo Operations, Joint Special Operations Task Force – Philippines, and Operation Enduring Freedom in Iraq.
His military decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, two Meritorious Service Medals, Joint Service Commendation Medal, eight Army Commendation Medals, and the Signal Regiment Bronze Order of Mercury.
Dees said he plans to spend time with my wife and children traveling and enjoying time together, and to pursue training in programing and further cybersecurity training.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, attendance was limited to family and a few friends but made available on Facebook.