The Nevada Army National Guard honored nine retirees Sunday and inducted three former soldiers into its hall of fame.
The commander of all Army Guard troops in the state, Brig. Gen Randal Sayre, presented the awards at the office of the adjutant general in Carson City.
"I feel about 10 feet high," said chaplain and Brig. Gen. Ashley Paul, who was inducted into the Drennan A. Clark order of Nevada -- the highest honor given by the Nevada National Guard -- for significant meritorious achievement.
Paul, who served in the Guard for more than 35 years, said it was well worth it.
"America's got to be patient, but it's got to have the will. And the citizen soldier is critical to that effort," he said. "Freedom is worth defending."
Chief Warrant Officer George Smith was inducted into the hall of fame. He was awarded a colorful medal with the state seal on a blue and white ribbon.
"I'm very proud," said his wife, Brigitte. She held a certificate signed by Gov, Kenny Guinn.
Retired Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Oxborrow was awarded the medal of merit.
"It's an honor I never thought I'd receive," he said. He and his wife, Sherry, came from Ely, where he was born and raised and served with the military police for 23 years.
Retired Sgt. 1st Class Robert Chandler of Carson City said, "I'm thinking of all the good times when I was in the field," he said. "Going to Camp 'SLO' in San Luis Obispo and going to Bridgeport and living in snow caves."
The day started with a retiree-appreciation event Booths were set up where retirees could have their blood pressure tested or talk to representatives from Carson-Tahoe Hospital, the Veterans Administration or USAA insurance.
A commissary sidewalk sale offered great deals to people with military identification. They could get big bags of Cooler Ranch Doritos chips for $1.88 or a four pack of Kraft Mac & Cheese for $1.04.
The day was organized by Maj. Joanne Farris, the headquarters' state area commander. She said hall of fame inductees were selected by a committee for staying involved with their communities after retirement. Nevada Army National Guard retirees from each fiscal year are honored, Farris said.