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      U.S. Army retiree says 'goodbye' to military service

      F rom protecting us here at home, to serving overseas -- our service men and women are the reason we can live freely.

      A fter 27 years of service, long - time Canyon resident Lieutenant Colonel Terry Callis is hanging up his hat.

      "I served during the Vietnam Era," said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Callis. "I served off the coast of Vietnam very briefly in 1975 during the fall of Saigon and got out of the military for about 12 years and came back in the Army system in '89 and have been in ever since, predominantly in the reserves national guard. I served three tours of duty in Iraq," he added.

      Although Callis' retirement party on Sunday was full of hugs, handshakes and smiles, in Callis' mind, he was saying goodbye to a huge part of his life.

      "It's hard to say goodbye to the uniform, to the military services and to m y brothers and sister whom I've served with for so many years," said Callis. "They become family to you and I absolutely love the people that I've served with."

      Of course, Callis' wife, three children and two grandchild ren attended the party in complete support for their husband and father, something Callis says they've never failed to do throughout his years of service.

      "They have progressed with me through these last 20 years and it's been a part of their life as well. My wife is thrilled that I'm not going to be deployed again," he laughed. "She's excited about that."

      Family, friends and even motorcycle group "Hardcore Motorcycle Ministries" attended the retirement party to say 'thank you' to Callis, who also was quick to say if he had to do it all again, he wouldn't change a thing.

      "I feel very grateful for having had the opportunity to serve," he said. "I feel blessed. I'm a very patriotic man, I love my country dearly. I have no regrets, at all."

      Even though you won't find him in uniform anymore, you'll never find him without his favorite title: Lt. Col. Terry Callis, "ARMY" Retiree.

      "It's very emotional for me," Callis said as he held back tears. "But I'll still have contact with these people. I've served with these people and they mean the world to me."