Camp Lejeune, N.C. --
Saying goodbye isn’t an easy task, especially after more than 50 years.
Richard M. Johnson, the general foreman assistant officer in charge at the Camp Lejeune Ammunition Supply Point, gave his farewell speech during a retirement ceremony Dec. 9, aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C.
“The time has come for me to fade away, but I will never forget,” said Johnson. “Every time I pass by the ASP, dream about the ASP, or just think about it, I will remember all the time spent there and the memories I made there.”
Johnson, a Savannah, Ga., native, started his service when he entered the Marine Corps. He enlisted in 1953 and retired 22 years later. He was then hired by the Department of Defense Civil Service Camp Lejeune and worked at base maintenance, the commissary and the Camp Lejeune Naval Hospital. In 1993, he was hired to work at the ASP.
“Your 53 years of combined military and civilian service has shown true dedication and commitment to the United States Marine Corps,” a letter from Lt. Gen. John M. Paxton, II Marine Expeditionary Force commanding general, read.
Johnson sat next to his family while more speeches and letters from Marines and coworkers were given and read.
“Mr. Johnson, I would like to sincerely thank and congratulate you on 53 years of dedicated service to our country and the United States Marine Corps,” read a letter from Brig. Gen. Michael G. Dana, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward) commanding general, who is currently deployed to Afghanistan. “Your unwavering dedication and contributions to the success of the Ammunition Supply Point were remarkable and will have lasting effects for years to come.”
Before the ceremony ended, Johnson was presented with the Civilian Meritorious Service Medal among many other gifts from coworkers to show the thankfulness of his 53 years of service.