REDSTONE ARSENAL, Ala.--Thomas Shelton was a career Soldier who retired in 1979 after 21 years of service. His son Tim followed in his footsteps.

Sgt. Maj. Tim Shelton of the Logistics Support Activity retired Thursday with 23 years of service. His dad, a Vietnam veteran, was among the attendees at the retirement ceremony in Bob Jones Auditorium.

"Same month and same age he was," Thomas Shelton, 74, of Tullahoma, Tenn., said of his own retirement as a sergeant first class. "I'm proud of him."

During his remarks in the ceremony, Tim Shelton told stories from his years in the Army. He thanked his mentors, LOGSA co-workers, commanders and family. And he concluded with a special thanks to his dad, his "very first hero," who was sitting in the front row with his stepmother, Frances.

"I'm the son of a Soldier," Shelton said. "I'm very proud of you. Thank you very much, Dad. I love you."

Shelton, 42, was born in Tullahoma. He lived in various Army installations around the world before his father retired and moved back to Lynchburg, Tenn., in 1979. Shelton graduated from Moore County High School in 1987 and joined the Tennessee National Guard that summer. He earned a bachelor's degree in history from Excelsior College, N.Y. He joined the active duty Army in October 1988 and arrived at LOGSA in August 2010.

"To the LOGSA team, I'd like to say thank you for what you do every day," he said.

LOGSA commander Col. Robert Sullivan, presiding officer for the ceremony, presented him the Legion of Merit, the Gen. Brehon B. Somervell Medal of Excellence, a Presidential Certificate of Appreciation in honor of his retirement, a U.S. flag and his retirement certificate.

"Tim Shelton is the epitome of a professional NCO," Sullivan said.

Shelton, who resides in Fayetteville, Tenn., will work at Redstone as the project lead for ProModel Corporation, headquartered in Allentown, Pa. He has three children: Hope, Andrew and Josie Lou.