Local school district employee surprised with military honors

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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) A retired soldier who now works for the Killeen ISD as a desktop system administrator was caught by surprise when what he thought was a staff meeting turned out to be a large gathering of friends and relatives during which he was honored for his military service.

Retired 1st Sgt. Mike Donovan (left). (KISD photo)

Retired 1st Sgt. Mike Donovan, spent 26 years in uniform, 12 years on active duty and 14 years in the National Guard.

On Friday, top military brass showed up to surprise him with a ceremony during which he was presented with The Lone Star Distinguished Service Medal, the Texas military’s fourth highest military honor and the Legion of Merit, an award given for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services and achievements.

The Legion of Merit is one of only two United States military decorations to be issued as a neck order, the other being the Medal of Honor.

Brig. Gen. Win Burkett presented Donovan with the award in front of the packed room of friends and family members, thanking him for his decades of service during which he rose through the ranks to retire as the 1st Sgt. for Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 142nd Infantry Regiment.

“His selfless service and desire to produce the highest quality of soldiers will undoubtedly set an example for others to follow and will leave a lasting impression on all those with whom he served,” guest speaker Col. Oliver Mintz said.

“His distinctive accomplishments are in keeping with the finest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, the 36th infantry division, the Texas Army National Guard and the United States Army.

Donovan, who joined the Army in 1990, left active duty in 2001 and the joined the National Guard in 2002, deployed in 2008 to Iraq and in 2012 to Afghanistan.

“The Technology Services team was honored to see Mike receiving the awards on Friday,” Donovan’s supervisor, Technology Support Manager Michelle Greene, said.

“We were not surprised that Mike received such awards as he is an exemplary member of the KISD Technology Team. We are lucky to have him as part of our team.

Donovan sent out an email to his co-workers following the surprise ceremony thanking them for their support.

"I would like to thank everyone for taking time out of their day to be part of my retirement award presentation from the Army,” Donovan wrote.

“I honestly can't think of another time in my entire life that I was more surprised than when I realized what the "Staff meeting" was for. I work for a truly amazing organization and am blessed to work with a bunch of awesome people. Thank you so very much for helping me and my family celebrate this achievement."