‘An old Soldier never dies, he just fades away’

Photo by Carl Burnett

Photo by Carl Burnett

113 years of service honored at quarterly retirement ceremony

By Shayna Brouker

U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Public Affairs Offic

Between the five Soldiers, there’s a lot of experience. They witnessed the end of the Cold War, the withdrawal of U.S. forces in the Philippines after more than 100 years’ presence there, space craft exploration to Mars and terror brought to the homeland on 9/11.

Their Families — several of them in attendance to honor their Soldier — spent many dinners and birthdays alone and sacrificed friendships as they moved again. Yet for all the Soldiers gave, they left “a legacy (that) will be demonstrated by our next generation of Soldiers,” said Col. Suzanne Self, deputy chief of staff for 5th Signal Command.

Self presided over a retirement ceremony March 31 at the Community Activity Center for Capt. Benjamin Bradley, 1st Sgt. Richard Jungmann, Master Sgt. Timothy Ellis, Sgt. 1st Class Kiteola Jackson and Sgt. 1st Class Jose Rodriguez.

“Each of these individuals are extremely talented, and collectively have more than 113 years of experience,” said Self. “Your Families have endured much, and I personally thank you for your sacrifices in support of your Soldiers.”

Capt. Bradley and his wife Stacey Bradley put a positive spin on their 17 years in the Army.

“I’m very thankful and appreciative of all I’ve done,” said Bradley. “I got to experience things people don’t get to, and I’m really happy I got to enjoy it.”

“What I appreciate is the resilience it’s built in our marriage and for our kids,” added Stacey. “Our kids are very adaptable.”

Sgt. 1st Class Kiteola was joined by her parents, Lenora and Wilbur, who recalled her apprehension upon joining the military at age 18.

“After a couple of weeks she fell in line,” said Lenora. “Her whole life has been in the military, and now she can have a civilian life. I couldn’t have asked for a better daughter.”