2013-11-08 / Community Events

Command Master Chief speaks in his own hometown, Thomson, Ga.

By Chief Petty Officer Richard A. Norman
Navy Information Operations Command Georgia


Command Master Chief Larry Howard talks with retired Lt. Gen. Burton D. Patrick while preparing to deliver a key note address Oct. 22 to members of the Georgia Farm Bureau-McDuffice County. 
Photo by Chief Petty Officer Richard Norman / U.S. Navy Command Master Chief Larry Howard talks with retired Lt. Gen. Burton D. Patrick while preparing to deliver a key note address Oct. 22 to members of the Georgia Farm Bureau-McDuffice County. Photo by Chief Petty Officer Richard Norman / U.S. Navy During the annual meeting of the McDuffie County Farm Bureau, one of Thomson’s native sons spoke of his travels and experiences throughout his 28-plus years in the United States Navy.

Command Master Chief Larry Howard, NIOC Georgia, a Thomson, Ga. native, delivered the key note address to nearly 100 members of the McDuffie County Farm Bureau and distinguished guests at Young Memorial United Methodist Church in Thomson, Ga., Oct. 22.

Prior to Howard’s key note speech, he was introduced by Army veteran and Thomson, Ga., native, retired Lt. Gen. Burton D. Patrick, former commanding general of the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky., and Combined Field Army in Korea.

Patrick and Howard spoke of the friendship that has developed over the past year because of their strong military and hometown ties, “He is precisely the kind of leader that I would want my son to serve under in both peace and war,” Patrick stated.

Howard then addressed the crowd and spoke of growing up as a boy and his graduation from Thomson High School in 1982.

“About 30 years ago my first cousin, [Command Sgt. Maj.] Ken Stockton and I played football and we both worked at the local McDonald’s. This is very unique because now, 30 years later, I am the command master chief of Navy Information Operations Command Georgia on Fort Gordon and Ken is the Garrison command sergeant major. We are finishing out our military careers together in an area very near to both of our hearts.”

Expressing his gratitude for the county’s farm bureau members, Howard pointed out the similarities between the agriculture professionals and the nation’s military members.

“Those that work in agricultural professions are up early in the morning, they are hard working individuals, they are ethical, and they possess traits of honor and integrity. All of these are shared virtues between all of you and those that serve in our military,” said Howard.

Howard then described his naval service and travels around the world, “Over a two year period, while stationed in Italy, I visited over 25 European countries. In every country we visited, while flying our nation’s colors, we were welcomed and treated with an outpouring of respect.”

Closing out the ceremony, Howard shared, “America remains the land of the free because of the brave. I assure you that the young men and women that are serving are giving their best each and every day… they have the same beliefs that you have. We have over 1,400 Sailors on Fort Gordon and they are actively engaged throughout the local community. Those men and women understand their patriotic duties and they understand that freedom is not free.”

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