GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — 7th Army Training Command and U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria honored two Soldiers, one U.S. civilian and one local national civilian for their service and careers at the quarterly retirement ceremony, here, May 22.
7th Army Training Command Chief of Mobilization and Reserve Affairs, Col. Carlos E. Gorbea, thanked the retirees for their accomplishments and sacrifices made in service to the country. He also highlighted the sacrifices of their families.
“It is because of their service that the nation enjoys the freedom we stand for,” said Gorbea.
Sgt. 1st Class Pierre-Jovan Fuentes Sr., Sgt. 1st Class Niger A. Jones, Arturo (Art) Ayala and Wolfgang Pueschel retired after years of dedicated service.
Fuentes began his journey in the Army in 1999. In 2003, while stationed at an Ammunition Supply Point, he had to take charge as a specialist to set up and coordinate an air medical evacuation for a severely burned Soldier. Because of his action, the Soldier was able to make it to the hospital and obtain the medical care he needed.
“I remember my first day in the Army, it was nerve-wracking when we arrived with the bus and they directed us to different locations. It was a great experience,” said Fuentes.
Jones joined the military in 1996 and has one year of combat experience. Most recently he served with the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 709th Military Police Battalion as the military intelligence section’s noncommissioned officer in charge. A major highlight in the Army for Jones was transporting over five thousand detainees without any incident or injury. He has served the military for more than 23 years.
Ayala began his career in the Air Force in 1969. Most recently he served as a financial readiness specialist for the U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria’s Army Community Service. A major highlight in Ayala’s career was being selected to be the company commander for the 182d Maintenance Company in Nuremberg, Germany. Ayala has 45 years of federal service with the U.S. military.
“This is my third retirement, the first two failed. Who knows, I hope to stay retired, but I don’t make any promise,” said Ayala.
Pueschel entered into government service in 1977. A Vilseck native, he spent almost his entire career with the USAG Bavaria safety office. He plans to play tennis and ride his favorite motorcycle.
“The retirement ceremony was impressive. It’s an honor to get recognized here, next to U.S. Soldiers — you can’t compare this job to any other off-post job in Germany,” said Pueschel.
Combined, these two Soldiers, Art and Wolfgang rendered more than 129 years of service.