Retirement Speech given by my Commanding Officer, MAJ April Hauser

Retirement Speech given by my Commanding Officer, MAJ April Hauser

About a year ago, SSG Stanley and I had a discussion about her retirement. I won’t steal her thunder about what she has done and seen in the military over her career but I know that she is going to leave her legacy with her fellow Soldiers, and today with all of our family and friends. The idea of leaving a legacy is so that we may all remember her for what she has accomplished. These moments are so remarkable the Soldiers she has touched are forever changed, and hopefully some of you will have a greater understanding through a Soldiers eyes.

If anyone knows SSG Stanley they know her passion for Star Wars and Marvel. She has played a Stormtrooper and more recently Captain Marvel. She has touched the souls of many children, young and old. The definition of a superhero is “a type of heroic stock character, usually possessing supernatural or superhuman powers, who is dedicated to fighting the evil of their universe, protecting the public, and usually battling supervillains.”

I wonder if she realizes that she has been a true life superhero all along. This definition defines a Soldier. Retiring from the military will not change that status. I found this quote: “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” – Joseph Campbell. Here is a quote from Captain Marvel that made me think of SSG Stanley: “If there are lives at stake, I’ll fly the plane.” When I saw this quote I thought of you on your deployments knowing that the superhero in you would have risked anything for the lives of others. You are a real life Superhero. If you take anything away from today, remember that.

The decision to retire from the military is not an easy one, as this is all that some of us have known for our entire adult lives. I have been told that I will know when it is time. Over the last couple of years, I have witnessed SSG Stanley graduating from Nursing school, finding the love of her life, and also losing her father. With these highs and lows, she had discovered that life is short, and every moment counts. She has given her time to this family, and now it is time for her to enjoy her other passions, to include the theater and spending as much time surrounded by those she loves.

It has been my pleasure to know you and serve with you. Always remember your time here has made you the woman you are today. You have saved lives, and will continue to be a Superhero each and every day forward. Good luck to you, and congratulations on your retirement.

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