YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea - Eighth Army Deputy Commanding General Maj. Gen. Robert J. Williamson was honored for 38 years of service during his retirement ceremony here at Collier Field House Feb. 14.

ROK-U.S. Alliance leaders, including Gen. Jung Seung-jo, deputy commander of ROK-U.S. Combined Forces Command and commander of the Ground Component Command; 8th Army Commanding General Lt. Gen. John D. Johnson; and Command Sgt. Maj. Robert A. Winzenried, United Nations Command, Combined Forces Command, U.S. Forces Korea and Eighth Army, attended the ceremony.

The Eighth Army Band and United Nations Command Honor Guard participated in the ceremony.

"During the 60th anniversary of the Korean War, together we have honored and upheld the proud legacy of the many people who have defended freedom here before us," said Williamsons. "I am confident that the tradition of excellence here will continue after I depart, and I hope that I have contributed in some small way to our continued success."

Williamson also expressed his gratitude to U.S. Soldiers and their Korean allies.

"My greatest memories of my time in uniform will not be of the places I've traveled or the challenges I've faced but of the great people I've had the privilege of serving with," said Williamson. "I'm honored and humbled to serve with you all in the great cause of defending freedom. I would like to thank each one of you personally for your service and for your contributions to our respective nations and to the cause of democracy."

Many awards were presented to the general, including the Distinguished Service Medal, a certificate from President Barack Obama, a certificate from U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey, a shell casing and a flag flown over the Korean Demilitarized Zone in honor of his retirement.

The general's wife, Darlene Williamson, received Dr. Mary E. Walker Award and the 8th Army Helping Hand Award in recognition of her many years of devoted support.

The ceremony concluded with the retirement medley and the Army song. A reception followed the ceremony at the Dragon Hill Lodge.

Williamson, a native of Tennessee, became the 8th Army Deputy Commander for Transformation on Feb. 3, 2008. He plans to return home to Tennessee.