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On March 9, family; friends; members of the H-1 Huey and Cobra Program Office at United States Marine Corps H-1 Light/Attack Helicopters Program Office, known as PMA-276 and fellow Marines gathered at the Presidential Helicopter Hangar at NAS Patuxent River to honor Major Narciso Lopez III on his upcoming retirement from the United States Marine Corps after 24 years of service.

Lopez had been assigned at the Assistant Program Manager for Logistics for the H-1 Huey and Cobra Program Office at PMA 276, responsible for budgets and all 12 logistics elements for UH-1N, AH-1W, UH-1Y and AH-1Z.

Guest speaker Lt. Col. Paul M. Riegert praised Lopez as having "been mentored well, and this you do the same. You don't sit on the sidelines, and you readily do the hard things," Riegert said. "That Marine Corps Story that you so revered includes you, my friend."

Retiring officer Col. Harry S. Hewson emphasized the critical role played by logisticians and others in the Navy-Marine Corps team.

"Every Marine walks confidently and sleeps soundly knowing that Marine aviation has their back," Hewson said. "It's not just our job, it's our calling; it's our mission. For 23 years, Sonny has absolutely made a difference."

After receiving the Meritorious Service Medal, Lopez thanked the members of his team.

"I wear the medal, but it's for all the Loggies in the PMA. I got it on your backs," Lopez said.

Lopez then reminisced about his childhood in San Antonio, Texas, watching military airplanes, and his career highlights.

Send your retirement, reenlistment, promotion and other important photographs to testernewsdcmilitary.com. We'd love to share your special moments with Tester readers. For more photographs, visit the NAS Patuxent River Facebook page at www.facebook.com/naspaxriver.