“The most patriotic man I know” Stewart Zitzner retires from federal service

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Monica Ricci

As the 78th Air Refueling Squadron approaches deactivation, Mr. Stewart Zitzner, 81, is calling it a career…again.

Before joining the 78th ARS as a federal civilian employee in 2004, Zitzner retired from military service in 2003 after serving nearly 30 years in the Army and Air Force Reserve. He also worked a 17-year career in the insurance industry during that time.

Zitzner’s 20-year federal service retirement was celebrated June 1 during a ceremony with family, friends, and the JBMDL community.

“He’s the most patriotic man I know,” Lt. Col. Shawn Mosher, 78th ARS director of operations, told the audience as Zitzner showed off his American Flag shirt and socks. “I am so honored to be up here giving this speech, and I hope everyone in this room realizes the weight of the man on this stage.”

During his 20-year tenure at the 78th, Zitzner was nominated four times for Civilian of the Year and won the honor in both 2016 and 2019.

When it was Zitzner’s time to take the podium, he focused on the people who supported him and those with whom he formed strong relationships. He said he is most looking forward to spending more time with his seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren in retirement.

“I thank you all for being here. God bless all of you, but most importantly, God bless the USA,” Zitzner said as he closed out his speech with a teary-eyed showing of the American Flag.