A soldier says farewell, but his service won’t end

ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Illinois -- After more than three decades of service to country, Command Sergeant Major Richard Johnson said good-bye to fellow soldiers and civilians serving with First Army on Rock Island Arsenal.

CSM Johnson served in the U.S. Army for more than 32 years. He took over the duties of command sergeant major in 2016 and has been advising First Army's commanding general, Lieutenant General Thomas S. James Jr.,  on day-to-day operations and the welfare of soldiers in his command.

His career spans 32 years, including multiple deployments and assignments to Iraq, Korea and Germany.

"I was one of the fortunate ones to be able to come home and live out my life with my family," he said at the retirement ceremony Wednesday at First Army headquarters.

Johnson said he could not served in the U.S. Army for 32 years had it not been for the support of his spouse and his children. His wife Nora and son Kevin both attended the ceremony.

But Johnson says his service won't end here.

"I'll always be a soldier and I'll always get back. One thing I want to do is I want to volunteer at USOs," he said.

He plans to move back to Texas and spend time with his children and grandchildren who have missed out on family time over many deployments.

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