COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) – A family with a long heritage at Fort Benning has returned to the Chattahoochee Valley for a special honor. Information Leader 9 was present for the ceremony, where there was an emotional reaction from the award winner’s family.
“From one infantryman to another … I am blessed that you have taught me what it takes to lead this army,” GEN Michael X. Garrett, commanding general of FORSCOM, holding back tears as the son of the winner.
The 9th African-American 4-Star General in U.S. Army History talks about his father, Retired Command Sergeant Major Edward Garrett, who recently received the Spirit of the Infantry Award at the National Infantry Museum, at around the corner where he served at Fort Benning. The medal and statue will be added to its collection which includes our nation’s 2nd highest award, an Distinguished Service Medal.
“35 years of service. He joined the army at the age of 15, carried out several combat missions, ”said National Infantry Foundation vice president of operations Martin Scélestine Jr ..“ During his 2nd tour of Vietnam , he was awarded the Silver Star for acts of bravery and valor. ”
“He took charge of an ambush team, came under hostile fire 5 times to save the lives of 6 wounded soldiers, then led a flank maneuver to kill the enemy,” Gen. Garrett told the crowd at the ceremony of the National Infantry Museum.
As the commanding general of the command of the United States armed forces, he also says his father is the most disciplined soldier and the most dedicated leader he has ever known.
Gen. Garrett, looking at his father, said, “You have set high standards for your troops and in doing so, you have helped shape a generation of leaders.”
“Just happy that they honor and recognize the contributions he made to the military, and pass on his legacy to this day,” said daughter of awardee Stephanie Garrett.
CSM’s daughters and son Edward Garrett helped their wheelchair-bound father cut the cake with the sword, in a prize that many say is long overdue.
Again moved when speaking at the event, GEN Garrett said, “If my mom could be here to see this… but I want you all to know that we are truly touched by this honor. It’s still wonderful today because I don’t know exactly how many my dad got, but I know how many I have, and I think I know how much my sisters got today.
“It really really is a way of honoring those who served and made great sacrifices for the infantry,” Scelestine said.
And now the award winner, who has served in virtually every NCO position with distinction, has a grandson who went to West Point and was commissioned into the military.
Copyright 2022 WTVM. All rights reserved.