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Kirby retires
Trey Kirby.jpg
U.S. Army Col. Homer E. “Trey” Kirby III, left, is joined at his May 1 retirement ceremony by his wife, Terrie, third from left, and well-wishers Connie and Richard Manning. The ceremony was held at Park Theater.

History came full circle last weekend in the retirement ceremony for U.S. Army Col. Homer E. “Trey” Kirby III.  

The Army officer who presided over Kirby’s induction as an Air Force second lieutenant 26 years earlier — retired Col. Thomas B. Vaughn — was also on hand to lead Kirby’s retirement solemnities.

As estimated 125 friends, neighbors and well-wishers assembled Saturday, May 1, at Park Theater to honor Kirby, a local physician, and his wife, Terrie. Over the span of his career, Kirby served in four different branches in the U.S. armed services, including combat duty in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan. In all of those assignments, he treated combat-wounded soldiers, sometimes while under enemy fire. He served on the front line in Iraq when Saddam Hussein was overthrown from power.

“This retirement ceremony is for me but not about me as it was made possible by all those who helped,” Kirby said, offering thanks to the many people who supported him in his military service and medical education. 

Kirby reserved the most praise and honor for Terrie, his “loving, supportive, forgiving wife through 13 moves, two wars, countless mobilizations and training missions.”  

He also remembered his late father and mother, Homer Jr. and Sue Kirby, as “the best parents anyone could have hoped for.” Paying homage to all who had a part in his life, he declared, “Heaven knows I couldn’t have done it without you.”

The citizens of Tennessee, speaking though their 112th General Assembly and a Senate Joint Resolution sponsored by state Sen. Janice Bowling, lauded Kirby “for his bravery and dedication to preserving the blessed freedom that is inseparable from our American heritage and ideals …”   The resolution added that Kirby “exemplifies a true citizen-soldier in the best tradition of a Tennessee Volunteer, both in peace and wartime.”