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Commander retires with 40 years of service

U.S. Air Force Col. Norman Brosi, the outgoing commander of the 139th Mission Support Group, Missouri Air National Guard, hands flowers to his wife during a change of command ceremony at Rosecrans Air National Base, Mo., Oct. 18, 2013. Lt. Col. Gordon Meyer takes the place of Brosi, who retires next week. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael Crane/Released)

U.S. Air Force Col. Norman Brosi, the outgoing commander of the 139th Mission Support Group, Missouri Air National Guard, hands flowers to his wife during a change of command ceremony at Rosecrans Air National Base, Mo., Oct. 18, 2013. Lt. Col. Gordon Meyer takes the place of Brosi, who retires next week. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael Crane/Released)

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (Rosecrans Air National Guard Base) -- More than 200 Airmen from the 139th Mission Support Group stood in formation to celebrate a defining moment in their commander's military history: Col. Norm Brosi's retirement of 40 years.

Brosi celebrated his retirement at a base wide ceremony Sept. 6th and a Change of Command Ceremony Oct. 15 here.

"I never thought I would be here," Brosi said. "I just thought I would enlist and do my four years on active duty and get out...and then here you are, 40 years later."

A native of St. Joseph, Brosi served half of his career as a commander. One of his earliest deployments as a commander was to southwest Asia for a five month tour.

"The sweetest moment of a person's life is when you are reunited with your family after a deployment," said Brosi. "Our homecoming we received when returning from Desert Storm was the best."

Brosi says it's important for incoming Airmen to take advantage of opportunities early in their career.

"You can make whatever you want to out of your career in the Guard," he said. "Pick out a good career field, if it turns out you don't like it, cross-train into something you do like. Take advantage of the educational benefits, get your degree, start with the Community College of the Air Force, and if you have the opportunity go on a deployment."

Brosi intends to focus on the many good experiences, and quoted Bob Hope during his retirement ceremony, "Thanks for the memories...for the great memories you have given me because it's been an honor to serve with you."