ROCK ISLAND, Ill. - Amid booming cannon and a bosun’s whistle, seven people retired at a June 16 ceremony here.

Five Department of the Army civilians, one Soldier and one Sailor received decorations and gratitude, as family, friends and co-workers gathered at Constitution Square.

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.

“The seven individuals being honored here today have served more than 179 combined years for their country,” said Fontaine. “Their knowledge and leadership have made an enormous difference to the Army " and the Navy " not only to the accomplishment of the mission, but to the people they have mentored, coached, and helped during their careers.”

The retirees - Capt. Jill Dodson, executive officer, Materiel Integration Branch (20 years of service); Lt. Cmdr. Lionel Rincon Jr., commanding officer, Navy Operations Support Center (24 years of service); Pamela DeMaught, chief, Business Relations Office, Office of Counsel (36 years of service); Anthony Hoeppner, logistics management specialist, Distribution Management Center (29 years of service); Michael Rohweder, Mobility Division, Distribution Management Command (29 years of service); Karen Harden, Distribution Management Center (33 years of service); and Diane Schmidt, Office of Counsel (37 years of service)- have all distinguished themselves as individuals, said Fontaine.

When asked what she will miss most of her career, Pamela DeMaught said relationships she has established. “They always say you don’t miss the work so much, but you miss the people. So it’s going to be 36 years of friendships that I will miss most.”

The day before the retirement ceremony, DeMaught had one last official duty - firing the cannon used to mark the beginning and end of each day.

“It is a great honor to be able to participate in something that has been going on, on military installations, since the Revolutionary War. As a civilian, I am proud to be able to do that,” said DeMaught.

“I have witnessed the ceremony at the beginning of the day and at the end of the day and to be a part of it and have a family member involved, really brings it home,” she said.

Another retiree, Anthony Hoeppner, said the most memorable moment in his career came during a deployment.

“When I deployed to Kuwait it was a real eye-opening experience,” he said. “To see troops and to help them and support them as they go into theater. It was a very proud moment, a very neat moment.”

Hoeppner also provided a few words of advice for the next generation workforce. “Continue to work toward your goals and good things will happen for you.”

The June 16th event concluded with a retreat ceremony, during which the flag was lowered and the canon fired, signifying the end of the duty day for Soldiers.

“Thank you again for all you’ve done for ASC, JMC, Rock Island Arsenal, for our Army and our Navy, and for our nation,” Fontaine concluded. “I promise that you will not be forgotten.”