Retired Gen. John F. Campbell served in the U.S. Army 36 years, 10 months and 25 days. During that tenure, he said he’s gotten to “every single post, camp or station the Army has on this planet.”

Was his favorite in Germany, “the center of the universe” in Fort Bragg or Schofield Barracks in Hawaii?

On Thursday at the annual Eagle Ambassador breakfast at the James E. Bruce Convention Center, Campbell said his best-loved stop during his lengthy career was at a post locals may know.

“Fort Campbell was my favorite place,” he said.

It didn’t earn that status because of the similar (though unrelated) name, nor because he stayed there the longest (he served as 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) commanding general for two years, one of which was spent in Afghanistan). No, it’s his favorite because the surrounding community, including Hopkinsville and the rest of Christian County, really know how to show support.

“I can think of no other community that shows such strong support for our troops, our first responders — thanks guys — our families, our loved ones and our veterans,” Campbell said. “Let me be clear, it’s not fake news. In my humble opinion, Christian County, Hopkinsville, continues to be the place that sets the standard for all communities to exemplify their support to our soldiers and families.”

It’s not something another community could emulate at a will. Campbell said the community had cultivated a culture of support. To maintain that level of commitment though, the younger generations have to get involved with military communities.

Getting involved was the name of the game Thursday, when Hopkinsville Mayor Carter Hendricks took the podium following Campbell to call for pledges from the packed house.

The Eagle Ambassador program is a Christian County Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee program that provides people, businesses and organizations a means of supporting the committee and its programs that support Fort Campbell soldiers and their families.

The program “really makes a difference” and is the kind of support every U.S. military installation deserves, Campbell said, listing off the numerous events, programs and advocacy trips taken by ambassadors that help to build and sustain relationships with post leaders, soldiers, veterans and their families.

“It’s amazing,” Campbell said.

“These deployments have been going on for over 17 years now … there’s a sense of weariness and complacency that kind of sets in. So I think having events like this … re-energizes everybody and at least reminds people why it’s so important to take care of military families and our soldiers.”

Reprinted via the Kentucky Press News Service.