01-02-2020 Watervliet grad retires from U.S. Army after serving 29 years

Watervliet grad retires from U.S. Army after serving 29 years

Colonel Holly A. Gay, a native of Watervliet was the subject of honor at a retirement ceremony on Friday, Dec. 6, 2019 in Fort Knox, Kentucky. Colonel Gay graduated from Watervliet High School in 1986 and entered Michigan State University to continue her education. In her sophomore year at MSU in 1988, she joined ROTC in order to pay for college. She went to Fort Knox for Basic Camp (which is Basic Training for ROTC Cadets) and received a two-year scholarship which paid for classes.

Colonel Gay says she truly enjoyed her 29 years in the Army. She has led and learned from some amazing people and experienced interesting and challenging jobs and missions. For the majority of her career, she has changed jobs, units or location every 14-24 months and loved it. She could not have done any of this without the loving support of her family and friends. Colonel Gay’s awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit (2 Oak Leaf Cluster), Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, six Meritorious Service Medals, Army Commendation Medal, five Army Achievement Medals, Army Staff Identification Badge and various unit and service medals and ribbons. Additionally, Colonel Gay was awarded the Order of Horatio Gates Bronze Medal from The Adjutant General’s Corps Regimental Association. In addition to her dual Bachelor of Arts degrees awarded at MSU, she has a master’s degree in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix, and a Master of Arts Degree in National Security and Strategic

Studies from the Naval War College. Additionally, she is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and a certified Mediator and Trainer in Workplace Conflict Resolution. She states, one of the things she learned in the Army is be careful of what you ask for – it rarely works out how you think it will – but if you are willing to embrace the unexpected – opportunities open up. Also, if you walk into an assignment or location thinking it will be miserable… guess what – it will be miserable. Attitude is everything. Looking back, she thinks the best thing she learned to do in every Army assignment is to find at least one thing she liked about the location or unit. When she ran into challenging times she always remembered that eventually something or someone would change or move one– it’s the nature of being in the Army. It’s not static. She loves the fact when she looks back at her pictures of all the units or sections she was in, especially the Human Resources ones, they are filled with diversity. It reinforced her belief that everyone brings something to the table and if we are willing to listen to each other – we will learn and continue to grow. Great ideas come from the most unexpected places. Communication is wonderful. At U.S. Army Human Resources Command there is a huge scope of the mission to take care of the Army, soldiers and families from cradle to grave. She felt that she learned something new every day and that it doesn’t matter how many years you work in a profession like the Army– you can always learn something else and you should never let yourself get stale – be curious. Colonel Gay learned to live for today – not yesterday – which can be very hard to do in reality. However, being exposed to Casualty Mortuary Affairs throughout her career gave her a perspective. Life, illness, and death happen whether you are prepared or not. When asked of her future plans during her reset year of 2020 she said she is looking forward to spending time with her family in Hartford and traveling around the United States. Finally visiting Europe (since the Army never allowed her to be stationed there) and then taking her little camper and hitting the road.

COLOMA YOUTH WRESTLING AT SOUTH HAVEN… Brody Ashley, son of Sara and Kenny Ashley, looks ready to put the finishing touches on his opponent. Brody, wrestling for the Coloma Youth Wrestling program, won his age group. He is 9, in the 66 pound weight class, as he went 5-0 with four pins at the South Haven tournament Sunday, Dec. 29. Brody attends Coloma Intermediate School. See more sports news on Pages 8-10


Hartford Schools Superintendent receives positive evaluation & extended contract

By Jon Bisnett The Hartford Public School Board approved the 2019 school year evaluation of Superintendent Andy Hubbard as effective, adding a one-year contract extension through June 30, 2022 at the final meeting of 2019 on Monday, Dec. 16. The board conducted the evaluation in closed session during its December 2 Work Study session.