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Brig. Gen. Ronald J. Place, commanding general, Regional Health Command-Atlantic (Provisional) and Command Sgt. Maj. Matthew Brady, RHC-A's command sergeant major, along with Fort Benning's Medical Activity commander, Col. Marie Dominguez and Command Sgt. Maj. Leon Johnson, recognized two Martin Army Community Hospital employees Aug. 30 for their dedicated years of service.
George Berry was awarded for his 50 years of service, while Sadie Mitchell, who recently retired, was recognized for serving 47 years. Berry was awarded with a pin, certificates and coins. Mitchell was awarded with a certificate and coins.
Place, along with Dominguez, presented the awards to Berry and Mitchell. He thanked them for what he called, "hard to fathom lengths of service."
"One of you, in fact, has served longer than my wife has been alive, and we have four grandchildren," said Place. "Think about that for a second. The dedication to young men and women who have said, I'll serve, to provide better health care for four or five decades. It's a fantastic embodiment of the concept of service to something bigger than ourselves. Thank you for that."
0Berry, who was born in Omaha, Georgia, is married to Selessia Berry and he has two sons, George and Patrick and a daughter, Ashley. Berry began his employment with civil service in July 1966. Always a member of the logistics section, he has served as forklift operator, truck driver, a supply clerk in the training aid section and as a supply clerk in Dental Activity. During his 50 years at Martin Army Community Hospital, Berry also worked as a warehouse supply clerk, truck driver and linen department supervisor.
"I got those 50 years by minding my own business, doing the right thing and treating people the right way," says Berry. "Communication is important; one can accomplish a lot by communicating and keeping your head on straight." He said he has no plans to retire anytime soon. "As long as I have the strength to continue, I will. When the good Lord says it's time, then I will know it's time to retire, but until then, I will continue to enjoy working here."
He added that Martin Army Community Hospital is a great organization to work for.
"The leadership here is great and treats employees with respect," he said. "You have to show respect to get respect. Having and showing respect gets you a long way."
Dominguez, who was impressed by Berry's dedication and commitment to the organization, commented on his character.
"Mr. Berry's great attitude and work ethic shows daily," she said. "He is absolutely dedicated to patient safety and to the organization and we are honored to have him as a part of our team," she said.
Mitchell is a native of Fort Mitchell, Alabama and now resides in Columbus, Ga. She served three years of active duty military service at Fort Bragg and Landstuhl, Germany. She was employed as a nursing assistant at Martin Army Community Hospital in May 1970 and worked in various departments in the hospital to include the medical surgical unit, mother baby, orthopedic ward and same day surgery.
"I loved coming to work every day and helping patients," Mitchell said. "Many members of my Family were in the military, including my father, and being able to serve our Soldiers and their Families is something I will cherish for the rest of my life."
Dominguez also had high praise for Mitchell.
"I would always see Ms. Mitchell assisting our patients after surgery and she is what this organization is about, caring for America's sons and daughters," she said. "We will miss her smile and the dedication and love she showed to our patients."