Army Lt. Col. Thomas Wooden Jr. was honored for 29 years of service to his nation at a retirement ceremony held Jan. 4 at the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support in Philadelphia where he spent the last 29 years of his military career as an Army reservist.
During the ceremony, presiding official and DLA Troop Support Commander Army Brig. Gen. Mark Simerly thanked Wooden and his more than 20 family members in attendance for their support to the Army and to the nation.
“We know that serving in the armed services poses challenges for our soldiers that many civilians and their families cannot appreciate, but you all can,” Simerly said. “And your support to [Wooden] has been essential in his success.”
Wooden’s military career began when he commissioned into the Army Quartermaster Corps in 1991. Some of his assignments included leadership positions with the Washington, D.C. National Guard as a brigade and battalion level logistician and United States property and fiscal officer.
While assigned to Troop Support, he served as the Army Reserve Element team lead in both the Subsistence and Construction and Equipment supply chains where his accomplishments were recognized in the award of the Joint Service Achievement Medal for outstanding service.
Wooden said that he almost did not join the military, noting that he and his family joked about his grandfather being “more military than we could stand,” but that family was key to his success.
“Twenty-nine years I’ve been doing this …,” Wooden said. “It’s about love for my family, love for my country and love for my soldiers.”
During the presentation of retirement honors, the American flag was presented to his grandmother, “Granny,” Rebecca Oduba, as a token of thanks for the love that carried him through his years of service, Wooden said.
Wooden reminded the audience that although his military career was coming to a close, his service to his country, and to those he served with, will continue.