FORT SILL, Oklahoma (May 25, 2021) -- “Every time I get pregnant, he leaves the country,” said Army wife Christina Seng, jokingly about her husband Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Seng, as she described the challenges of being a military spouse. She also mentioned the long nights alone, and the many deployments.
But Christina Seng, who is an Army wife of 18 years and who grew up as an Army brat, also spoke about the perks of military life.
“I have some amazing friends all over the world, some that are practically family,” she said. “I love the Army community. I haven’t found the same thing in the civilian world.”
The Sengs were one of 25 families who retired from the Army May 21, during a ceremony at Cache Creek Chapel. Hundreds of family members, friends, fellow Soldiers, co-workers, and post leaders packed the chapel for the ceremony.
In his invocation, Chaplain (Capt.) Garrett Cardinet, 2nd Battalion, 18th Field Artillery, said: “Dear God … we are grateful for their (retirees’) diligence, skill, and willingness to answer the high calling of our great nation. We are also grateful for their families, who have borne the burden of sacrifice in their absence.”
Guest speaker Col. Curran Chidester, Army Capabilities Manager – Air and Missile Defense Command, congratulated and thanked the retirees for their service as they transition from the 1 percent to the 7 percent.
“Just under 1 percent of the (U.S.) population serves in the military, and about 7 percent of our population in America is made up of veterans,” the colonel said.
The retirees’ cumulative service totaled 600 years, Curran said.
Those years include Soldiers who missed births, anniversaries, graduations, holidays, and birthdays, he said.
“The families are the one that make the real sacrifices and allow a Soldier to be a Soldier,” Curran said. “To all the family members: Thank you.”
Reviewing the retirees’ questionnaires, the No. 1 thing they said they were going to do is spend time with family, Curran said. Travel was second.
During the ceremony, all the retirees were presented Army end-of-service awards, commanding general’s coins of excellence, retirement certificates signed by the Army chief of staff, and cased U.S. flags, which were courtesy of the Fort Sill Retiree Council.
Each spouse was given a small token of gratitude and a certificate of appreciation “in honor of their faithful, unselfish, and devoted service,” said Kenneth Emerson, the program narrator,
All the children of the retirees received Army B.R.A.T. (Bravery, Resilience, Adaptability, and Team Work) certificates, which were presented by Command Sgt. Maj. Gerardo Ramon, Capabilities Development and Integration Directorate.
As Emerson introduced each retiree, their date of Army entry, and their family, he also told of the retiree’s transition plan.
What will retired Maj. Latiya Fisher do now?
“I’m going to marry my fiancé Shawn and we’re going to move to Virginia,” she said.
Fisher said she served 24 years and 11 months. She originally enlisted as a motor transport operator; and was most recently with the 95th Adjutant General Battalion (Reception).
“It was a great ride, I enjoyed every minute of it,” she said. “Today is bittersweet, but I’m glad it’s here.”
Sgt. 1st Class Brian Fisher (no relation to Maj. Fisher) said he is ending his career at Fort Sill where it began.
“I originally came in the Army July 3, 1997, I served two and one-half years, then went National Guard and then came back in,” he said. “I begin terminal leave July 3, 2021. It’s kind of funny because I came here for basic training and I’m ending here.”
Fischer described his career as awesome.
“I had ups-and-downs, good days and bad days, long days and short days,” said Fisher, who plans to stay in Lawton. “My wife Veronica and I pulled through it. We’ve been married 19 of the 24 years I’ve been in the Army.”
Col. John Brewer, Army Futures Command, entered service Feb. 1990.
Lt. Col. Darryl Olden, Capabilities Development and Integration Directorate (CDID), entered July 1996.
Maj. Benjamin Bronkema, CDID, entered Nov. 1993.
Maj. Latiya Fisher, 95th Adjutant General Battalion (Reception), entered June 1996.
CW4 Samuel Armer III, Army Targeting Center, entered June 1990.
CW3 Michael Bubar, 2nd Battalion, 18th Field Artillery, entered Nov. 1997.
CW3 Antoinette Jackson, 1st Battalion, 30th Field Artillery, entered Oct. 2000.
Sgt. Maj. Haywood Vines, Fort Bliss (Texas) Noncommissioned Officer Leadership Center of Excellence, entered Nov. 1994.
1st Sgt. Stephen Christmas, 67th Forward Support Company, entered Sept. 1998.
Master Sgt. Viletta Prince, National Military Command Center Maryland, entered March 2001.
Master Sgt. Derek White, Fires Center of Excellence (FCoE), entered Sept. 2001.
Sgt. 1st Class José Arellano, 2nd Battalion, 6th Air Defense Artillery, entered July 2001.
Sgt. 1st Class Michael Bonanza, 1-167th Military Police Detachment (CID), entered Oct. 2000.
Sgt. 1st Class Brian Fisher, CDID, entered July 1997.
Sgt. 1st Class Charles Guillory, 2-6th ADA, entered Dec. 1984.
Sgt. 1st Class Kevin McCoach, 1-78th FA, entered Dec. 1997.
Sgt. 1st Class Vann Moore, 1st Battalion, 13th Field Artillery, entered May 1999.
Sgt. 1st Class Andrew Seng, Fort Sill Garrison, entered July 2000.
Sgt. 1st Class Tory Smith, Fort Sill NCO Academy, entered June 1992.
Sgt. 1st Class Randell Traxler, 1st Battalion, 14th Field Artillery, entered Feb. 2001.
Staff Sgt. Jefferey Fleming, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Field Artillery, entered June 2001.
Staff Sgt. Garrison Hopper Jr., 2-6th ADA, entered July 1997.
Staff Sgt. Nathan Saxer, 2nd Battalion, 20th Field Artillery, entered Aug. 1999.
Staff Sgt. Christopher Stone, FCoE G3/5/7, entered Oct. 2001.
GS-11 Dennis Mayo, 1-30th FA, entered Dec. 2003.