The last 40 years haven’t been the easiest for Sgt. John Brown. Since he enlisted on Oct. 10, 1972, Brown’s deployments have taken him to the lines of several conflicts.

“We have all heard the stories and seen the movies of extraordinary soldiers that have fought in two or three conflicts, and we’re amazed by their courage and love of country,” Lt. Tom Bradshaw said. “Most warriors feel that one conflict is enough and that 20 years or even 30 years is enough. We are honored by Brown’s 40 years of service to our country and honor the deployments and conflicts you served.”

Brown’s deployments took him to Vietnam from 1971 to 1972, the Coast of Cyprus from 1973 to 1974, Bosnia from 1999 to 2000 and Iraq from 2004 to 2005 and again in 2007 to 2008. Brown was set to deploy to Afghanistan with the 111th Engineer Battalion in 2011 but was denied because of medical reasons.

“Sgt. Brown stood before the formation, received an AAM and tears flowed,” Bradshaw said. “One old warrior stood as tears flowed because he wanted to deploy one last time with his friends.”

During the ceremony, Brown was presented with an Army Calvary Sword that the members of the Forward Support Company leadership came together to purchase for Brown. The soldiers from the FSC collected more than $500 for a gift they presented Brown. The remainder of the money was used to purchase gift cards for Brown and his wife.

“Sgt. Brown’s long and illustrious career has been marked with humility and selfless service to his country that reflects upon himself, Texas Army National Guard, The United States Navy and the United States of America,” Bradshaw said. “Anything we could give you would truly not show our appreciation for your service to our country.”

Also during Brown’s retirement ceremony, Staff Sgt. Robert A. Bennett was presented with his plaque for retirement after 20 years with the U.S. Army. Bennett retired in September but was unable to receive the plaque until Saturday.