Gallery+Story: Promotion at Fort Bliss Gravesite Honors Grandfather

Major Patrick Henderson, 236th Brigade Engineer Battalion Commander, was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel at the gravesite of his grandfather, MAJ Lyle Henderson who served in WWII and is buried at the Ft. Bliss National Cemetery on August, 8, 2018.

Lieutenant Colonel Henderson is currently serving at Ft. Bliss as part of one of the largest exercise in recent history, the eXportable Combat Training Capability (XCTC), with over 4,000 Soldiers training to hone their skills. Henderson felt that everything seemed to align perfectly for his promotion to take place at Ft. Bliss, TX.

“Our Brigade was slotted to go to Idaho for our training exercise and was waiting for my promotions orders at the time,” said Lt. Col. Henderson “but two weeks before we were told we were coming to Ft. Bliss my orders came through. It was almost like my grandfather was winking at me.”

Lt. Col. Henderson comes from a long line of service members.

“My father served 11 years in the Marine Corp and my granddad served 8 years in the army,” said Lt. Col. Henderson “my brother recently retired after serving over 20 years. My nephew is active duty. Then of course my wife and myself have close to 25 years served. It is really in our blood line.”

The sense of service is a deeply rooted believe that has been passed down through the generations of Hendersons.

“My grandfather had the mentality that there are those that serve and those that take and those that serve can serve at any capacity.” said Lt. Col. Henderson “You can serve in the military, your state, your community, your church or the less fortunate. It is our duty as those who serve to help those that take and teach them to serve. That is really the underline theme of the Hendersons.”

Story & Photos by Sgt. Odaliska Almonte  |  North Carolina National Guard / DVIDS