ROCK ISLAND, Ill. - Four Department of the Army civilians and three Soldiers received decorations and gratitude, as family, friends and co-workers gathered at Rock Island Arsenal's Constitution Square and Heritage Hall to celebrate their retirement, June 25 and 29.

Maj. Gen. Yves J. Fontaine, commanding general of the U.S. Army Sustainment Command, hosted the ceremonies and extended his personal appreciation and admiration to the retirees.

"We're taking this opportunity to offer these individuals the most sincere and heartfelt thanks on behalf of our grateful nation, our Army, and our Command," said Fontaine.

The retirees - James Loehrl, executive director of the Rock Island Contracting Center; Lee Thompson, executive director of the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program; Patricia O'Conor, ASC small business office; Lawrence Williams, Joint Munitions Command equal employment officer; Lt. Col. Charles Smith, Distribution Management Center executive officer; Sgt. Maj. Sharon Campbell, DMC sergeant major; and Sgt. 1st Class Yacine Asad, enlisted aid to Fontaine- have all served outstandingly throughout their careers, said Fontaine.

"In large organizations, sometimes people can get lost in the crowd. They all served with distinction - made personal sacrifices - and made the best Army in the world even better through what they contributed to our mission," said Fontaine.

Loehrl began his federal career in 1979, and is now eager to spend time with his family and travel.

"My years of retirement will be devoted to my wife. We plan to spend the summer and fall in the Quad City area, and travel down to San Antonio for the winter months," said Loehrl.

Loehrl said the thing he will miss most about the Arsenal will be the people he has worked with for more than 30 years and those he has developed strong relationships with.

Thompson, just as Loehrl, said the people at the Arsenal will be most missed.

"I'm going to miss all of the people I have spent so much time with. If it wasn't for the relationships already established, these last few years would have not been possible professionally," said Thompson.

The June 25th event concluded with a retreat ceremony consisting of lowering the American flag and firing of the ceremonial canon, which signifies the end of the duty day for Soldiers.

"To all of you - I hope you feel that this retreat ceremony is special and unique, and that you are filled with a sense of pride and honor as the flag is lowered and folded. May the flag you receive here always remind you of your service, and may this ceremony always live in your memories," said Fontaine.

For queries, contact the Army Sustainment Command Public Affairs Office at or by phone at 309-782-5421.

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