138th Fires Brigade Soldier Honored with Mess Hall Named After Him

Photo and Story by SteveTressler/ Unit Public Affairs Representative HHB 138th

Lexington, Ky. –(April 28th, 2010)

If you’ve ever heard SGT Henry T. Pace laugh, you would never forget the way it sounded.
I won’t.
You won’t either. It sounds almost identical to Robert Carradines’ character in the 1984 movie ‘Revenge of the Nerds.’
There is no nerd in Pace though.
There is quite a bit of intestinal fortitude however.
The former Army scout turned Army cook got the ‘lions share’ of that. To know Pace, is to realize how tough he is. How tough is he? He’s so tough that Chuck Norris writes on latrine walls about SGT Pace being tough. He’s so tough that Mr. ‘T’ wants him to join the A-team.

What makes him tough you ask?

You could say it’s his 3 war deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, which also includes his first deployment as a scout for the first Calvary Division during Operation Desert Storm in 1991.
It could be that he weighs 145 lbs and regularly carries twice that around the drill hall floor.
It could be because after having one of his lungs removed because of cancer, and with metal staples still in his chest, he took the Army PT test less than three weeks later and passed.
Or maybe he’s tough because he’s a 2-time cancer survivor.
I think he’s tough because he prefers to eat MRE’s over real food.
Hey, we all have our opinions.

No matter the reason, it’s fair to say that the ‘tough soldiers’ of the 138th Fires Brigade respect and love him enough, that when they decided to dedicate, and name, the MG John R. Groves Jr. Armory Mess Hall in Lexington, Ky. in his honor. Their was no debate about if it should happen, or if it was deserving; just smiles around the room followed by action to accomplish the mission.
So on April 11, 2010 at 1300 in front of the armory kitchen and some of the soldiers of the 138th Brigade, that is exactly what happened.
The 138th Brigade Commander COL Rodney G. Hayes, after a few words about SGT Pace surprised everyone including Pace, by saying “This mess facility will forever be known as the ‘SGT Henry T. Pace Mess Hall.’”
This was not just some pat-on-the-back Pace realized, he was having part of the armory permanently named in his honor.

He was visibly moved by the words he just heard from COL Hayes.

With tears visible in his eyes, Pace said, “I can’t believe this. This is just too much, I love these guys.”
Nobody else seemed to think it was too much, except Pace.
COL Hayes said “Pace is a hard worker, he’s dedicated to a job that can be thankless, and he always has something good to say about everybody.”
“That’s just him though” said SSG Casey Render. “He is always the first soldier you see helping, and it’s never after being asked to, he just appears and is already there working.”

Even more interesting is, SGT Pace not knowing what was going on the morning of the dedication, was a part of the working party to get the kitchen ready for it.
Nobody asked him to.

He just volunteered to help.

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