TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A retirement ceremony Saturday afternoon honored a longtime Kansas National Guardsman for his decades of service.
Colonel Hans Neidhardt served in the Kansas Air National Guard for 39 years, last as Deputy Chief of Staff of the Air, Joint Forces State Headquarters.
Adjutant General Lee Tafanelli, along with friends and fellow soldiers presented with the colonel with awards and mementos at a ceremony held at the Museum of the Kansas National Guard in recognition of his service, including a flag presented to him by his son Nathan, who also serves in the guard.
"It's very bittersweet today," Neidhardt said. "A lot of people that you see here, I've known for a lot of years," he said.
"You know these folks that you deal with, that you work with, you eat with them, you sleep with them, you cry with them, you laugh with them. They're just as close as blood family." He said he would miss that camaraderie.
Neidhardt said he looks forward to living under one roof again with his wife Shari, who has lived the past four and half years in Wichita while he served in Topeka. The couple has been married for 37 years and have two children, Cristina and Nathan, and five grandchildren.