Over two centuries of military service honored at Celebration of Service

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Story by SSG Christopher McCullough on 12/13/2016
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii - On December 13 family, friends, and colleagues of eight U.S. Army Soldiers came together at historic Palm Circle, Fort Shafter, Hawaii, for a ceremonial expression of appreciation and gratitude for their combined 204 years of federal service to the U.S. Army, the U.S. Army Pacific, and the nation.

"At the U.S. Army Pacific, we refer to today's ceremony as a celebration of service because that is exactly what we are here for today," said USARPAC's Deputy Commanding General, Army National Guard, Brig. Gen. Bryan Suntheimer who officiated the ceremony to celebrate the service of eight exceptional leaders, who will transition out of active military service to the Army's distinguished retired roster."

The retirees honored were Col. Mary E. Abrams, Syracuse, NY; Col. Thomas E. Hanson, Leavenworth, Kan.; Col. Phillip A. Mead, Marshalltown, Iowa; Maj. Brandon Johnson, Dallas, Texas; Capt. Timothy W. Warner, Memphis, Tenn.; Sgt. Maj. Peter D. Howell, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Sgt. 1st Class Trinity James Caver, Akron, Ohio; Sgt. 1st Class Timothy Hicks, El Paso, Texas.

USARPAC's Celebration of Service ceremony recognizes Soldiers for their distinguished service to U.S. Army Pacific and the U.S. as they prepare to transition into new careers. This was the eleventh such celebration held with the intent of honoring retiring service members quarterly.

Over the course of the celebration, Suntheimer spoke to the audience about how these noteworthy Soldier's careers have impacted USARPAC. He also addressed how their devotion made the Army better, and personally thanked each of the honorees for the sacrifices they and their families have made.

"I'll close this memorable day by saying congratulations, again to all of the honorees, on achieving this milestone of military retirement," Suntheimer said in closing. "And a very special thanks to the families and supporting casts of these stars for sharing them with us for these many decades and for being their strength and support."

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