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Maj. Gen. Mark McDonald, left, commanding general of Fort Sill and the Fires Center of Excellence, speaks with retired Gen. Gordon Sullivan, center, president and CEO of the national Association of the United States Army (AUSA) and outgoing 4th Region AUSA President Bradley Freeman of San Antonio, Texas, prior to the kickoff of the 4th Region AUSA Convention here Friday.Bradley Freeman, left, outgoing 4th Region president of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA), presents Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb with a chocolate version of the AUSA seal to express appreciation for his support of the organization.

Sullivan lauds work of McDonald

Retired Gen. Gordon Sullivan, president and CEO of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA), opened the 4th Region AUSA convention here Friday by lauding the work Maj. Gen. Mark McDonald has done as commanding general of Fort Sill and the Fires Center of Excellence.

Sullivan recognized Oklahoma's great military heritage, as it's host to five military installations, including a premier Army installation and three Air Force bases, as well as one of the great fighting organizations of World War II, the 45th Division.

"We appreciate very much the political leadership here and their support, and your support for people like us," the former Army chief of staff said.

"It's too easy to forget that no matter what the equipment is, it's the young men and women who fly the helicopters, fly the airplanes, drive the tanks, fire artillery out from the firing line and fire bases they're the ones who make it happen. It's not the equipment," he said.

Sullivan noted that McDonald will soon be going to a very important job as head of Army Security Assistance Command at Huntsville, Ala. He called it "a very important job in the weapons business, actually helping our allies around the world, and it's an important job for the nation, as the Army has some of the weapons of choice, some of them developed right here, actually, at Fort Sill and down at Fort Bliss, (Texas)."

Sullivan hailed McDonald as "a great soldier."

"He's done the tough jobs in peace and war, and he's been a magnificent leader here at Fort Sill. And you can feel it. I can feel it when I visit here," said Sullivan, who was here for last year's Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans celebration.

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