Today I got a step closer to retirement.

No, my orders are still not correct and I am starting to despair of them ever being right. Never the less, what I had was good enough to turn in ALL of the field gear that I had in my duffel bags. Not just part of it, but all of it. Actually, the CIF guy was pleased. He said it was all in new or excellent shape and was going to be able to be re-issued.

That means that I no longer have Kevlar, IBA or a holster. This is all cool since I no longer have a weapon, having hand receipted it over to someone else today along with my pro-mask. Those last two items are the only items on my whole list which have to be returned to Ft Benning.

Any who – I was not able to avoid having a retirement award ceremony. Attended by members of the task force with a few extras from CJTF101, it was brief and over.

This means that I don’t have to do anything fancy at all when I get back to where ever. No parade, no cake, no sail, no nothing.  It is wonderful!

Yes, I have 33+ years in the Army. My satisfaction comes from feeling like I have made a difference in the health care for those deployed in theater, take care of those I work with, and leave a positive legacy behind.

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29 Responses to Retirement

  1. Ron says:

    Wow, I did not realize you had that much time in. Thank you for your efforts. America and the world is a better place because of your contributions.

  2. Bonnie says:

    OK, MA’AM:

    Here’s what I figured out about retirement ceremonies. They resemble
    weddings in two respects:

    1. They are not really for you. Sure, one would think they are. But
    they’re also for, and maybe primarily for, your family and friends.
    Your family deserves to celebrate your achievements, even if you don’t
    particularly want to, and they deserve to be recognized for their
    sacrifices on your behalf. Your friends deserve an opportunity to
    salute you, even if you wish they wouldn’t. I realized when I got
    married just how much my wedding was for my parents’ sake…

    However, having said that, like weddings,

    2. You can do whatever you want for your retirement. A full-blown,
    catered affair, a picnic at a favorite park, a small gathering of
    co-workers who happen to be around at the time. You get to make the
    call. And others can shake their heads and mutter how you should do
    things differently, how they would do things differently, etc., etc.,
    but it’s your show.

    But, you gotta have something. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but
    slipping out the door after 33+ years is not an option. “Do it for your
    husband and your children.” (Yes, I am stooping to the laying of some
    heavy guilt.) So sayeth me –

  3. Ruth says:

    There is something special about working in the public sector, whether in the Armed Forces, or me as a public librarian. I’ve always loved the fact that I could do something to really help someone, and not have to care about the bottom line.

    I hope you have a lovely trip home with no weapons!

  4. Elisabeth says:

    Congrats to you! 🙂

  5. Marie says:

    And so say all of us, you have made a difference!

  6. Mary says:


    but are you safe there without the weapon?????

  7. ruth says:

    Retirement is a second chance in life. You get to do whatever you wish. There’s a whole new world to explore. It’s wonderful.

  8. Angeluna says:

    Congratulations. Yay for you, Girlfriend. It is indeed wonderful to know that you have contributed to making things better for those who put their lives on the line for their country day in and day out.

    Can’t wait to see what you do next.

  9. Suzan says:

    I’ve only known you for a short while, and I will say it is a two-fold experience. First, the pleasure of meeting you and having the opportunity to “keep up” with your most interesting life, and secondly, to not have met you sooner. I am sure in your 33+ years you have made more than your “feeling of like I made a difference…”

    I strongly believe you MADE a huge difference in many lives-those you met, and those your decisions affected. Congratulations on your retirement. It is an adjustment that is not made easily, and you’ll always have the “right seat, left seat” common sense in your future ventures. May your days ahead be filled with honest, straightforward and gleeful times-as were the days you’ve already lived.

  10. Jan says:

    Mazel Tov.

  11. Alison says:

    Well done. Thank you for your service

  12. Carmen says:


    So – no need for Ft Benning – you can go right on home to Heidelberg,

    I suppose that sometimes it is better to have the full ceremony rather than the sneak-out-the-back-way route, just because it gives other people a minute to settle in their minds that this has happened. When someone does the latter around here and has been here for 35 years, is leaves those left behind feeling – well – weird in lots of ways. We have had one of each in the past 6 weeks.

    Anyway, yay, no more guns.

  13. Colin says:


    I suppose a little R&R is on your to-do list

  14. Berg says:

    Your legacy is secure and honorable. I honor your service to our Country and to all your patients and fellow soldiers. Congratulations again.

  15. Janet says:

    You have made an impact on anyone who had the honor to serve with you, be cared for by you, or befriended by you. It’s a job well-done and you should be proud.

  16. Steve says:

    WOW, hard to believe…, congrats on official retirement party…now to just get back to the world….

  17. Diane says:

    Congrats on the next chapter in your life 🙂

  18. Mark says:

    I used to carrying a wpn, especially in theatre.
    You did a lot more than you take credit for during your career. There things you have done for people that you may have forgotten but they haven’t.
    Don’t let the door hit you in your ass. And shut the lights off!

  19. Mitch says:

    Congrats (at least a downpayment until all is official)!

  20. Kris says:

    Congratulations! You are almost there. Then what? I hope you treat yourself to some time off.

  21. Allison says:

    Glad you are well! Good luck on the exit!

  22. Bob says:

    And the many, many friends you have cultivated along the way. I am honored to count myself among them. All that’s remaining is to get you out of there and back home in good shape, good spirits and good time. God bless and keep all of our troops wherever they may be . . . even those retired.

  23. Lynne says:

    Saying “thank you” doesn’t seem enough, Holly. People like you, with such a clear commitment to providing the best care possible for our troops, provide such an important piece to the puzzle that is “conflict”. Those of us that had family members in harms’ way always hoped our loved ones would receive such care. Thank you for being there for our loved ones and for sharing your experiences with us… especially the ones that included fibers!

    Consider yourself hugged…

  24. April says:

    Congratulations, I know how you hate being center of attention. for whatever it means coming from your little sister, I am proud of you.
    You started a job 33 years ago, you ran the course through thick and thin , bad and good, you raised your family, you stayed married. you finished your career. and you never lost sight of your goals.
    Amazing job Holly, I am glad I have you for my sister .

  25. Margo says:

    vHolly, I am incredibly proud to know that someone like you is part of my family. You have certainly made a difference and a have a lot to be proud of during your career.

    But…what is the plan for the next part of your life?

  26. Cheryl says:


  27. Janet says:

    When did we get old? Sent request for my IRR retirement papers..

  28. Brad says:

    Last paragraph:

    All true.

  29. Anita says:

    Well done! One step closer …. How does it feel? I can’t imagine how
    wonderful and yet how stunning it must be to realise that you are ‘done’
    with your army career. What are your immediate plans?

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