'You reach out and touch so many lives ...'
August 6, 2005
STUTTGART, Germany — As she stood alone under a leafy tree while everyone else mingled inside, Col. Gwendolyn Bonéy-Harris thought about the job she’d just given up.
“I didn’t realize the impact you would have on the families,” said Bonéy-Harris, outgoing commander of the 6th Area Support Group. “You reach out and touch so many lives every day.”
Bonéy-Harris turned over her domain Friday to Col. Kenneth G. Juergens, who is now in charge of seven installations that serve about 12,500 troops, civilian employees, retirees and family members.
“I told [Juergens] people are going to be looking at him because he’s the new kid on the block,” Bonéy-Harris said. “I told him to sit back, assess the situation and don’t come to any conclusions on his first day.”
After two years at the helm, she found that leading her staff of nearly 600 civilians wasn’t much different than leading the 67 soldiers under her command.
“They (civilians) don’t have uniforms,” Bonéy-Harris said. “But they have the same loyalty to you as servicemembers.”
The ceremony, which was attended by about 400 people, also marked the departure of 6th ASG Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel Chavez, who will be succeeded on Wednesday by Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Barbary.
Both Bonéy-Harris and Chavez are transferring to the Installation Management Agency Northeast Region in Fort Monroe, Va., where Bonéy-Harris will serve as deputy director.
Juergens, who for the past year was deputy director of U.S. Army Europe’s Command Logistics Group in Heidelberg, Germany, said he was prepared to make the adjustment.
“It’s not that much different; you’re still serving soldiers,” Juergens said. “We were used to serving customers, whether they’re green-suited or wearing civilian clothes.”