FORT STEWART (WTOC) - An era will end early next month when one man ends 56 years of service in and for the Army.
Howard Bullard fought in Vietnam and retired from active duty at Fort Stewart. But he's helped shape hundreds of thousands of soldiers who followed.
The firing ranges at Fort Stewart may technically belong to the US Army, Howard Bullard took care of them and improved them like they were his own.
The Dog Faced soldiers who fired along Thunder Road and took down Sadaam Hussein took orders from commanders but honed their skills under Bullard's watch. His 30-year Army career wrapped up at Fort Stewart, but his service didn't end then. But began work running the massive ranges that help train soldiers to fight.
"I had a general say to me once that no soldier should ever leave Fort Stewart without the skills to go into battle and face an enemy head on," said Bullard.
Former co-workers bragged how Bullard helped bring electricity to the ranges to give soldiers more targets and more time to train. They estimate, in his last 10 years, he provided more than 24 million collective training days which spanned more than 115 million rounds of ammo fired.
"Just the organizational knowledge, it leaves a huge gap. And you can't make up for it," said Garrison Commander Col. Townley Hedrick.
Bullard wanted to be part of the praise today, just to remember those who've worked with him and for him to continue the mission of getting troops ready for battle.
"The only thing I wanted was to do was come clean out my desk, but I appreciate the effort," said Bullard.
He says he'll be around town and will check in with folks here to make sure they're keeping up his ranges.