Major General McDonald prepares to leave Fort Sill
FORT SILL, Okla._Major General Mark McDonald has been a staple in the Lawton-Fort Sill community for the past two years as he's served as the post commander.
During his tour at Fort Sill, he has led them through the government shutdown, furloughs, the Army's crackdown on sexual assault and harassment, along with numerous troop deployments into combat zones. Now, it's time for him to move on to his next position in the Army.
General McDonald says he has been lucky to call Fort Sill home, five times in his long Army career. He says that he pretty much knows that when he leaves this time he, sadly, will not come back as an active duty soldier.
"It was a blessing to be able to come here and do this job,” said Maj. Gen. McDonald.
The past two years have been a highlight for his wife, Connie, and in his distinct military career.
"This is the job of my life right here, and Connie and I have had the time of our lives and we have loved every minute of it," said Maj. Gen. McDonald.
Time flies they say and that couldn't be any truer for General McDonald.
"As you get older you will find that every day goes by faster, and then when you like what you're doing it really goes fast," said Maj. Gen. McDonald.
Even though it went by fast, he still stops to think about the time spent here.
"It's just a series of memories, and emotions, and good times and bad times. We have had some tough times, some tough duties to do here but what's good is the people around here, that's what makes this place, on post and off post," said Maj. Gen. McDonald.
"You got the history, you got the mission, we got our soldiers, we got the interaction between this installation and the community and I have described this many times, it is like no other place," said Maj. Gen. McDonald
One of the toughest things for both him and his family is saying goodbye to the troops, the civilians, and the community of Lawton-Fort Sill.
"You know, I prefer to stay. The Army has another plan, I got it. I've been doing this a little while and I understand when it's time to go, it's time to go but it doesn't mean we are happy to go. We're sad actually," said Maj. Gen. McDonald.
This isn't a permanent good bye as the general has friends here and plans on visiting in the future. Major General McDonald's Change of Command ceremony is next Tuesday.
He will hand over command to Major General John G. Rossi.
Major General McDonald's next assignment is being the Commander of the United States Army Security Assistance Command in Huntsville, Alabama