Ceremony highlights family military tradition

| July 23, 2010 | 0 Comments

Story and Photo by
Staff Sgt. Crista Yazzie
U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs

Col. Benjamin Lukefahr, left, deputy director, U.S. Army-Pacific Contingency Command Post, promotes his son David Lukefahr to the rank of captain on the deck of the USS Missouri BB-63. Shortly afterwards, the newly promoted Capt. Lukefahr retired his father.JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM — Generations of military service were honored on deck of the USS Missouri BB-63, recently, when one family member was promoted and another retired in a joint ceremony. 

Col. Benjamin Lukefahr, deputy director, U.S. Army-Pacific Contingency Command Post, promoted his son, David Lukefahr, to the rank of captain — after which, Capt. Lukefahr performed his first action, retiring his father.

“I have always been proud of my father, I remember him working late, but I always knew he was working hard, and after three years of service, I have only (accomplished) a small amount of what he has done. I would not be here today if it were not for you,” Capt. Lukefahr said to his father, before thanking his Soldiers and noncommissioned officers. 

Of all the assignments during his career, Col. Lukefahr cited his most memorable as being deployed simultaneously with his son to Iraq. 

“I had the privilege of serving at the same time with my son, David, watching him perform in some of the most difficult situations, performing better than I ever did as a young officer, and then having the opportunity to promote him to first lieutenant in Baghdad,” Col. Lukefahr said.

Family was a common thread throughout the ceremony. Col. Lukefahr’s daughter, Elizabeth, kicked off the event by singing “The Star Spangled Banner,” with her mother, Brenda, and brother, Justin, close by.

“Family must come first,” said Col. Lukefahr. “They were with me when I started and have remained with me on this incredible journey. I thank my lucky stars that they are with me today, and have been with me through good times and bad.”

“Today we are going to pay tribute not just to the Lukefahrs, but to our Army and military families,” said Col. Thomas Ball, USARPAC chief of staff and keynote speaker at the event. “(Col. Lukefahr) comes from a family with a proud history of service … (and) we expect great things from him as the deputy director of the CCP here in the Pacific”

According to Ball, the Lukefahr family’s U.S. Navy history made the venue of the famed battleship memorial, the same deck upon which World War II was officially ended, even more appropriate for the event. 

Col. Lukefahr’s father, Lt. David Lukefahr, served with the U.S. Navy and perished while on a mission in 1962. Col. Lukefahr’s stepfather was retired Navy Cmdr. Bill Wolfe, who raised Lukefahr and his three siblings. 

“To my family, you have sacrificed so much during this journey, while I was trying to find that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow … the next job, the next school, the next promotion,” Col. Lukefahr said. “What I failed to realize was, that pot of gold was always within my reach. I wasn’t looking in the right places.”

Category: News

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