December 15, 2013
The commander of the 4th Infantry Division's 43rd Sustainment Brigade bid an emotional farewell to Fort Carson on Dec. 4 during a change-of-command ceremony held despite inclement weather.
Only mission-essential personnel were to report to post because of bitter cold temperatures, slick roads and snow. But nearly 150 showed up for the indoor ceremony, at which Col. Todd Heussner relinquished command to Col. Anthony Whitson.
"I don't know how you put your heart and your soul into something and not become emotionally attached," Heussner told those in attendance. "I am emotionally attached to the 43rd."
Fighting back tears, Heussner said he was blessed to be entrusted with leading the brigade's soldiers and that together, they accomplished much. In October, the brigade returned from a nine-month deployment to Afghanistan, where its members evaluated excess equipment that has accumulated during the war in Afghanistan.
"We brought every soldier home safely, and that's because you took care of each other," Heussner said. "We've come so far that we can't even see where we started."
Whitson, who assumed provisional command of the brigade's rear detachment in February, thanked Heussner and his wife for their hospitality and friendship.
On the day that Whitson and his wife began moving into their on-post house, Heussner and his wife showed up at their doorstep with a beer and a box of cereal.
"Trina and I quickly realized how great the Heussner team was," Whitson said with a laugh. "I have no idea how Trina got the beer and I got the cereal, but they knew that was exactly what we needed at that time.
"That's just the type of folks they are.
"We wish you the best of luck and know you'll make a difference at your next assignment," Whitson said.
Heussner assumed command of the brigade in June 2011. His past assignments include commanding a POW/MIA search and recovery team at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii.
His next assignment is MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., where he'll serve as the chief of the logistics division for U.S. Central Command.