Celebrating three centuries of honored services

| December 29, 2014 | 0 Comments
FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii—The 13 USARPAC retirees along with their family members stand on historic Palm Circle for a photo after the U.S. Army-Pacific’s quarterly Celebration of Service retirement ceremony, Dec. 18. The retirees accumulated more than 300 years of total service. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Kyle J. Richardson, U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs)

FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii — The 13 USARPAC retirees along with their family members stand on historic Palm Circle for a photo after the U.S. Army-Pacific’s quarterly Celebration of Service retirement ceremony, Dec. 18. The retirees accumulated more than 300 years of total service. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Kyle J. Richardson, U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs)

Staff Sgt. Kyle J. Richardson
U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs

FORT SHAFTER — Friends, family and community members gathered at historic Palm Circle, here, to honor and celebrate the service of 13 U.S. Army-Pacific service members and civilian employees during a retirement ceremony, Dec. 18.

USARPAC retirees took their final official walk across Palm Circle during a quarterly Celebration of Service ceremony hosted for the first time by Maj. Gen. Todd B. McCaffrey, USARPAC chief of staff.

USARPAC’s Celebration of Service ceremony recognizes Soldiers and civilians for their distinguished service, contributions and sacrifices to USARPAC and the United States as they prepare to transition into new careers and new chapters in their lives.

FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii—U.S. Army-Pacific Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. Todd B. McCaffrey, hands Col. Michael Anastasia his retirement flag during a Celebration of Service retirement ceremony at historic Palm Circle, here, Dec. 18. The U.S. Army-Pacific's Celebration of Service ceremony recognizes Soldiers and leaders for their distinguished service to USARPAC and their country as they prepare to transition into new careers. (Staff Sgt. Kyle J. Richardson, U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs)

FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii—U.S. Army-Pacific Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. Todd B. McCaffrey, hands Col. Michael Anastasia his retirement flag during a Celebration of Service retirement ceremony at historic Palm Circle, here, Dec. 18. The U.S. Army-Pacific’s Celebration of Service ceremony recognizes Soldiers and leaders for their distinguished service to USARPAC and their country as they prepare to transition into new careers. (Staff Sgt. Kyle J. Richardson, U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs)

McCaffrey stated that the men and women standing before the crowd was reflection of today’s Army because of their dedicated service and sacrifices in yesterday’s Army.

“The influence and contributions from the body of this group is immeasurable,” said McCaffrey. “However, we’re not at a complete lost because the lives that they have touched in the Army will carry their on legacies.”

For more than 100 years, Palm Circle has been a standing-ground for ceremonies and honoring traditions.

Col. Michael Anastasia, Maj. Harold Buchanan, Maj. Macpin, Maj. Juan Delgado, Julaton, Maj. Thanh Wallace, Maj. Benjamin Pardieck, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Heath Phillips, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Westley Bagsby, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Sean Vaivao-Oliver, Command Sgt. Maj. Norman Corbett, Primasita Menor, Clark Sorensen and John Stolfi symbolized well over 300 years of combined continuous service to the U.S.

“This is all I know (military service). This period in my life gives me mixed emotions right now,” said Wallace, an exercise planner with USARPAC. “I come from a proud tradition of a military family. I enlisted right out of high school and the Army has been good to me ever since.”

FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii— Command Sgt. Maj. Norman Corbett hands his wife, Shirlynn, a bouquet of roses during a Celebration of Service retirement ceremony at historic Palm Circle, here, Dec. 18. Corbett dedicated 33 years of his life to the Army. (Staff Sgt. Kyle J. Richardson, U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs)

FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii— Command Sgt. Maj. Norman Corbett hands his wife, Shirlynn, a bouquet of roses during a Celebration of Service retirement ceremony at historic Palm Circle, here, Dec. 18. Corbett dedicated 33 years of his life to the Army. (Staff Sgt. Kyle J. Richardson, U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs)

After more than three centuries of accumulated stories, some of the retirees stated that they were eager to start creating stories outside of the uniform.

“From the beginning of a career as a professional soldier, you know this day (retirement) is coming,” said Corbett. “You prepare yourself for the Army and the Army in-turn prepares you for a journey of a lifetime. Then as the years go by, you see the light at the end of the tunnel. At that point, you know that you’re not ready to reach it. So, you do what you can to distance yourself from that light. But after 33 years, you know you’ve done your part and it’s time to move on. I’ve had a great career and if I could do it all over again … I would.”

While there’s a William Shakespeare quote that states “parting is such sweet sorrow,” it’s evident that none of the retirees were informed about such sorrows.

The group stood on Palm Circle aided with smiles and surrounded by their loved ones; sorrow was far from the list of emotions they showed.

“My career has blessed me with a new life. I have no regrets. If it meant I had to go home to Heaven tomorrow, I would stay on the same path,” said Wallace. “There are no words to describe this feeling. It’s something you have to experience.”

FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii — U.S. Army-Pacific Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. Todd B. McCaffrey, pins a Meritorious Service Medal on Chief Warrant Officer 3 Westley Bagsby during a Celebration of Service retirement ceremony at historic Palm Circle, here, Dec. 18. The U.S. Army-Pacific's Celebration of Service ceremony recognizes Soldiers and leaders for their distinguished service to USARPAC and their country as they prepare to transition into new careers. (Staff Sgt. Kyle J. Richardson, U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs)

FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii — U.S. Army-Pacific Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. Todd B. McCaffrey, pins a Meritorious Service Medal on Chief Warrant Officer 3 Westley Bagsby during a Celebration of Service retirement ceremony at historic Palm Circle, here, Dec. 18. The U.S. Army-Pacific’s Celebration of Service ceremony recognizes Soldiers and leaders for their distinguished service to USARPAC and their country as they prepare to transition into new careers. (Staff Sgt. Kyle J. Richardson, U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs)

Before the retirees departed with the remnants of their legacies and awards in hand, McCaffrey left the group with encouraging words and thanked them for the sacrifices and centuries of dedication in shaping the Army.

“It’s hard to do justice in a short period of time for the remarkable service of this group has given our Nation, Army and this command,” said McCaffrey. “You’re devotion has made this a better Army; your faithfulness has made this a better USARPAC; your contributions will be felt for years to come. Thank you all for all that you have done. You will always have a home here at USARPAC.”

FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii — U.S. Army-Pacific Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. Todd B. McCaffrey, hands Primasita Menor a retirement certificate during a Celebration of Service retirement ceremony at historic Palm Circle, here, Dec. 18. The U.S. Army-Pacific's Celebration of Service ceremony recognizes Soldiers and leaders for their distinguished service to USARPAC and their country as they prepare to transition into new careers. (Staff Sgt. Kyle J. Richardson, U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs)

FORT SHAFTER, Hawaii — U.S. Army-Pacific Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. Todd B. McCaffrey, hands Primasita Menor a retirement certificate during a Celebration of Service retirement ceremony at historic Palm Circle, here, Dec. 18. The U.S. Army-Pacific’s Celebration of Service ceremony recognizes Soldiers and leaders for their distinguished service to USARPAC and their country as they prepare to transition into new careers. (Staff Sgt. Kyle J. Richardson, U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs)

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