Retiring after more than 20 years of service to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is no small feat and deserves proper recognition for dedicated service. Retiring for the second time in a career that spanned 51 years of total federal service commands respect and admiration from most if not all who hear the story.
Henry Hollins, a facilities specialist for the Little Rock District, retired from active duty with the U.S. Air Force as a Chief Master Sergeant after 30 plus years of honorable service. For some that would have been a satisfying and fitting end to their full-time working days – but not for Hollins. He soon found a new way to serve our Nation.
He started his second career with the Corps in 1995 shortly after his retirement from active duty and never missed a step. According to Dr. Randy Hathaway, the District’s Deputy Engineer, from the moment Hollins started working in Little Rock he was constantly moving.
“One thing you could always count on from Henry was a smile and a good morning sir – if you could catch him,” said Hathaway. “He would move so quickly from one office to the next that it was almost like he was running all day. And I don’t remember a time when he used the elevators in our seven-story building – he always took the stairs.
“What I will forever remember about Henry is his attitude,” added Hathaway. “We could all learn a lesson about how to go about your work, your day and your life from the way Henry approached every task. He arrived every morning with a positive attitude and tried his very best to make everyone here feel important and valued.”
Hollins’ duties brought him in contact with almost every member of the District, and many expressed their appreciation and admiration for having known him over the last two decades and beyond.
One of the guests in attendance at this second retirement recounted his first meeting with then Chief Master Sergeant Hollins more than 25 years earlier.
“Chief Hollins made a big impression during my early years as a second lieutenant,” said A.J. Brown, a District contract specialist. “He taught me how to be an Air Force officer and much more.”
Another guest attempted to sum-up Hollins’ life and career in one word, “honorable.”
“Henry conducts himself honorably in every aspect of his life and work,” said Sandra Easter, Chief of the District’s Contracting Division. “I believe he is the most honorable person I have ever met.”
When it was finally time for the man of the hour to say a few words, in typical Hollins fashion, he was humble and thankful.
“I want to thanks each of you for coming out today and making the last 20 years the most wonderful and memorable of my career,” said Hollins. “I had the privilege of coming to work every day with some of the best people in the Corps. Thanks again for your thoughtfulness. I will truly miss all of you."
Many in attendance at Hollins’ final retirement ceremony and those who could not be in attendance wish him the best that life has to offer and a slower paced life – although most do not think he will ever slowdown.