Decorated East Texas National Guardsman Retires - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Decorated East Texas National Guardsman Retires

He's an East Texan who has served his country for the past 38 years. He is Harold L. Higgins he began his service during the end of the Vietnam War and retired just over a week ago as The Texas Air National Guard Command Chief Master Sergeant.

The awards, medals, letters and gifts fill the room in his home.

"It took quite a while to distribute all this stuff harold higgins was honored in Austin last saturday with a full reception complete with color guard, NCO's and countless military leaders.

"Letters from the Command Chief of the Air National Guard, and the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force," said Harold.

Even a letter from the President that spoke of his devotion to duty and a spirit of sacrifice. Higgins served for almost 38 years. One highlight just two years ago he was a part of the massive response team, after Katrina.

"My civilian job helps my military job and my military job helps my civilian job," said Katrina.

As a civilian Higgins worked for 30 years for the State Health Department. He said he used that experience to developed new state disaster plans.

Higgins said balancing family, work and the military wasn't always easy, "Just about the time I became a Command Chief my wife became a single parent. She actually tells people that," said Harold.

He says, what he will miss the most: the influence he had in the lives of so many young men. 

"I'm going to really miss the people, nuturing the young airmen, and sergeants. Watching them grow up and take your place its really a fulfilling experience. I just hope I made a difference in some of thems career and helped them get to where they are today," said Harold.

One of Higgins Wing Command Chief's will take his place. He plans to take off a month, and then work for the North East Texas Health Department.

Danielle Capper, Reporting.


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