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The 174th bids farewell to Col. Carter with retirement ceremony

Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, Syracuse, New York -- The 174th Attack Wing said farewell to Col. Wenzell Carter, Commander of the 174th Medical Group, in a retirement/change of command ceremony on May 4, 2013.

Maj. Martin Stallone will be the new commander of the 174th Medical Group.

Col. Carter plans on staying busy during his days of retirement.

"Once this retirement takes place I'll continue working for the Montgomery County (Maryland) Department of Health and Human Services," said Carter. "I'll be working with a team of dental contractors."

Col. Carter's interest in the Air Force started when he was a young boy. His uncle, Flight Officer Harry White was a Tuskegee Airman. His mother worked for Glen L. Martin, a company that built bomber aircraft. He also received and built model aircraft.

"The Air Force was always my first choice," said Carter. "After I completed dental school, I chose to become a commissioned officer."

Col. Carter joined the 174th in 1991, but was also an active duty airman for five years. Offutt AFB, Nebraska was the first active duty base where he was stationed and his first extended stay away from home.

Col. Carter wanted to leave a message with both the future and current airmen of the 174th.

"The future airmen should know that the military is great opportunity to broaden your horizons, there are great educational opportunities and there are great travel opportunities as well," said Carter. "I would like the current airmen to know that having a successful career depends on your effort. Further your professional military education, stay physically fit, work hard in your career field and the sky is the limit."

After arriving at Hancock Field in 1991, it took Col. Carter justĀ one year to become the base dental surgeon.

"The medical group were very welcoming and they are just a great group of people," said Carter.

"There are so many people that have helped me along the way," said Carter. "You work with people for so long, get to know all about them and their families. You actually bond very deeply and become a family."

"I'll miss the people here a great deal," said Carter. "Being in the 174th has been a great experience for me," said Carter. "I wouldn't have traded this for anything."